A couple who were arrested outside of a beach club in Playa del Carmen on Sunday got a public apology from the local head of government for what was widely viewed as an unlawful arrest and use of excessive force.
“In Playa del Carmen we will no longer tolerate these types of abuses, which in recent years had simply been forgotten. I will defend the rights of the citizens, of everyone, to enjoy their own land. Mexico is free and the beaches are public,” said Laura Beristain Navarrete, the mayor of Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, in which Playa del Carmen is located, on Twitter.
Tourist police arrested the couple after the management at Mamita’s Beach Club called to complain that they were not purchasing food or drinks from the establishment.
Videos posted to social media by onlookers show the woman identified as Azeneth Marín crying and saying police were hurting her and officers threatening those filming the incident.
“The meeting I had today with Azeneth Marín and Daniel Sánchez … is a request to respect everyone who wants to make use of the beaches. We are no longer in the past,” Beristain said.
Federal Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués also commented on the incident on Twitter, saying that he was in communication with the Quintana Roo Ministry of Tourism, but that there are currently no charges filed by the affected citizens.
“I reiterate that in Mexico the beaches are public,” he said.
Solidaridad general secretary Alfredo Paz Cetina said that the municipal government has a zero tolerance policy for police and administrative high-handedness.
“We are not going to tolerate any bad conduct [by authorities]. We’re investigating in accordance with the law and whoever is responsible will be charged,” he said.
The incident went viral on social media, with many users denouncing the police and restaurant for taking such drastic action against the couple.
One user called for a beach picnic on the spot where it occurred next Sunday in order to protest the incident and raise awareness about Mexican citizens’ constitutional right to access the country’s beaches.
Source: Milenio (sp)