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Mexico Greenlights the Destruction of Mangroves

Alan Hernandez - VICE News
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January 22, 2016
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The Tajamar mangroves before they were destroyed. (Grupo Ecologista del Mayab)

Environmental activists are furious at the destruction of 143 acres of mangrove forest in order to build offices, apartments, shopping malls, and a huge church in the luxury resort of Cancún.

The controversial project known as "Malecón Tajamar" is being promoted by the Mexican tourist board, known as Fonatur, and involves 23 private companies.

Activists were unable to prevent the clearing of the area that began at 2am on Saturday and finished around dawn. Bulldozers, cranes and dump trucks were protected by 140 state and municipal police officers sent to ensure that the protesters did not get in the way.

"It's not only the mangroves, there were thousands of animals living there," local activist Aracely Domínguez told VICE News. "Most of them are now dead, and the ones who managed to survive the attack are now without food, water or even a place to live."

Domínguez said the animals include black spiny-tailed iguanas, leopard frogs, and swamp crocodiles.

Mexican law has explicitly prohibited the destruction of mangroves since 2010. The Tajamar project got around this restriction because it was originally approved five years before that, and then lay dormant.

When the project was dusted off again last year, activists responded with legal efforts to get it temporarily suspended.

Read the rest at VICE News

Related: Project Complies With Law, Says Secretary, But Environmental Group Says Fonatur Obtained Permits with False Information (Mexico News Daily)

2013 Promo Video for Malecon Tajamar Cancun Project (VivoEnCancun)

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