Mangroves in Mexico Mangroves in Mexico. explorando mexico

Hotel construction stopped permanently

Latest ruling halts Riu Hotels' $95-million project in Cancún

A temporary halt to the construction of a US $95.6-million hotel in Cancún has become permanent following a judge’s decision this week.


A judge ordered that there must be no construction within 100 meters of any mangroves or coastal wetlands, a ruling that a lawyer says puts an end to the 530-room Hotel Riviera Cancún.

“Basically, they can’t develop anything,” said Francisco Villarreal Escobedo, who had sought to stop the the Spanish hotel chain Riu Hotels & Resorts from proceeding with the project.

He said the entire piece of land on which the hotel was to be built, located at kilometer 17 in the Cancún hotel zone, is affected by the ruling.

To one side, and just 14 meters away, are the mangroves of the Nichupté protected area.

The hotel is the second Cancún development to be stopped in the past three weeks due to concerns over the depletion of mangrove forests. The Malecón Tajamar project was halted by a court ruling in early February.


“Let’s preserve our natural resources, which are so fragile that we have an obligation to take care of them,” wrote Villarreal Escobedo in a comment on Facebook.

For the president of the Riu hotel chain, the issue isn’t about mangroves but political influence.

Luis Riu said in a recent interview that the incident was “a very bizarre, Mexican story” that began with the owner of a neighboring hotel.

“The owner of the hotel next door wanted to buy the land, and it did not sit well with him that we bought it in the end. He is a very powerful man and in Mexico the powerful are very powerful; he knows everyone: the politicians, the governors, everyone.

“He did’t like it when we bought [the land] and he set in motion the machinery to hassle us.”

Source: SIPSE (sp), El Economista (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • me

    What land at km 17 has mangroves 14 meters away? I can not see this as accurate when looking at a map.

  • Patrick Johnston

    It is about time that this uncontrolled growth has been halted. The rape of Mexico must stop. I visited Akumal this winter for ten days and will never return. I have wintered on the west coast of Mexico for 8 years and love it.

  • rangerrandy

    se llama Punta Nisuc

  • Dan Tucker

    Didn´t I read earlier that the mangroves in this area were destroyed in the middle of the night? If so, the ruling is just a tad late. . . . However, even though the crooks cry politics and power, at least they were stopped. . . . . for now.

  • Sharon

    VICTORY!! for now at least. Mexico is too dependent on the tourist dollars and is not being smart about preserving it’s natural beauty. Big mistakes being made for a few bucks.