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La Lancha beach in Nayarit. La Lancha beach in Nayarit.

Nayarit beach reopened after it was privatized in 2016

Environmental officials say the beach's closure by the previous government was illegal

A Nayarit beach that was closed to the public in 2016 has been reopened by the federal government.

The Secretariat of the Environment (Semarnat) revoked a concession for La Lancha beach to a real estate consortium, reopening it to the public.

The beach in Punta Mita was closed to the public when the office of maritime land zones (Zofemat) granted an exclusive concession of the land to a consortium comprised of DINE, Rancho Punta Mita and Cantiles de Mita.

Semarnat said it will file a complaint against Mariana Boy Tamborrell, then head of Zofemat and currently in charge of Mexico City’s environmental protection agency. The federal department claims that the privatization of La Lancha beach was illegal.

Environmentalists removed the company’s gate to the beach on Friday and invited people to visit once again.

The current director of Zofemat, Rodrigo Hernández Aguilar, said the Mexican government is committed to opening all of the country’s beaches up to the general public. His department will continue inspecting concessions to verify that they comply with regulations.

“This is an achievement for the people of Nayarit, considering that since 2016 they have denounced the closing of the beach on the part of the Cantiles de Mita, with the authorization of the Semarnat at the time, manipulating the laws for the company’s convenience,” he said.

In order to deliver on President López Obrador’s campaign promise to open up the country’s beaches, federal Environmental Secretary Víctor Manuel Toledo has asked people to keep in mind that Mexico’s coastal communities have enjoyed the beaches for hundreds of years.

He said he and his department will work to ensure that people recover the freedom of movement in their ancestral territories.

Sources: El Diario NTR (sp), Milenio (sp), La Silla Rota (sp)

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