A Playa del Carmen beach picnic will protest what has been called the unlawful arrest of a pair of Mexican tourists who were detained for not patronizing the beach club in front of which they had laid their towels.
Tourist police responded to a 911 call from the Mamita’s Beach Club on Sunday in which the business allegedly complained that the couple was not consuming its products.
Videos posted to social media show the couple being detained by police. The woman identified as Asenet N. can be seen in handcuffs, crying and telling officers that they are hurting her.
She and her boyfriend state in the videos that they were threatened by the police, and officers can be heard threatening the citizens filming the event. Asenet said that she was bleeding at the wrists from the officers pulling her by the handcuffs.
Facebook users from Playa del Carmen have organized a beach picnic for next Sunday to protest the incident and raise awareness about Mexican citizens’ constitutional right to access the country’s beaches.
“Bring your cooler, your umbrella and invite your family to be part of this lovely celebration of the recovery of our public beach,” the post reads. “It’s time to remind them of Article 27 of our constitution. The beaches of Mexico are public!”
Article 27 states that the country’s beaches are public land and that private companies cannot regulate people’s access to them.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Monday, Mamita’s Beach Club said that the couple was asked to move to a different part of the beach, as they were in a pathway used by the club’s guests and employees.
It said that the police were called after the couple used “high-flown and threatening words” with its staff.
The club’s management claims that the police were called “at the request of the couple” and that its personnel left the scene after the police arrived. The club alleges to be unaware of the official reason for the pair’s arrest.
The Quintana Roo Human Rights Commission announced that it has opened an investigation into the actions taken by the Tourist Police for alleged abuse of authority.