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La Huerta, Jalisco, was one location flagged as being at risk of privatization. La Huerta, Jalisco, was one location flagged as being at risk of privatization.

Tourism official says privatization of beaches ‘a serious problem’

Online survey gathers data on beaches whose public access has been blocked

The privatization of beaches is a “serious problem,” according to a high-ranking official at the Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) who said that authorities are already working to open up access to Mexico’s coast.

Simón Levy, a tourism planning and policy undersecretary, told the newspaper Milenio that Bahía de Banderas in Nayarit, La Paz in Baja California Sur and the Quintana Roo resort cities of Cancún, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are the destinations that have been most affected by coastline privatization.

“It’s a serious problem [because] beaches are the natural heritage of all Mexicans,” he said.

Levy said that the purpose of a Sectur initiative that is collecting data about public access to beaches via an online survey is to inform the development of strategies to ensure that all beaches are open to everyone.

Federal authorities are already taking action in conjunction with state governments to open access to beaches that have effectively been privatized and to prevent future privatization, he added.

The official said that since the online survey was opened in February, Sectur has received 277 reports about access or lack thereof to Mexican beaches.

The survey gives citizens the opportunity to “denounce all types of infringements of public accesses to beaches and the privatization of windows to the sea,” Levy said.

The Secretariat of the Environment (Semarnat) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) are also contributing to the efforts.

Other privatized beaches identified by the online survey as of the end of February were in Ensenada and Loreto, Baja California; Los Cabos in Baja California Sur; Puerto Vallarta, La Huerta and Cihuatlán, Jalisco; and Tuxpan, Veracruz.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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