Friday, December 24, 2010

Picnic Dec. 27th

Just back from an organizational meeting for the picnic on Monday, Dec. 27. People will be meeting at Restaurant Cato in La Manzanilla at 10 AM. Boats will take people to Tenacatita beach. All the boats leave at the same time, so there will be a mass landing of at least 150 people. Several diputados are planning to attend as well as media people (reporters for radio, newspapers and tv).

We'll be bringing tacos and agua fresca, but everyone should plan to bring their own water and something to eat. Some tarps will be set up for shade and there will be a band, to add to the festivities.

This is an adults only, peaceful picnic. Remember: NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES!

See you there!

Juan Frost after a beach landing a few days ago

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tenacatita Picnic the 27th

Amigos de Tenacatita, - by Juan Frost

As many of you know, the Jalisco state government, along with the Rodenas corporation violently grabbed Tenacatita this past August 4th ousting villagers, land owners, and tourists from their restaurants, homes, and palapas and blocking the federal highway that leads to Tenacatita. For months we have waited patiently for a resolution to this blatant injustice where a powerful businessman committed crimes against the townspeople of Rebalsito and was able to rob every Mexican of his constitutional rights by not letting people pass freely through a federal road and by not letting them land on the beach in a clear violation of Mexican constitutional law.

I am writing to invite you to a peaceful picnic at Tenacatita (fully supported by Rebalsito's town leaders) this December 27 at 9 AM starting from the town of Rebalsito. We will be entering Tenacatita through a back way and will be ferrying the public across a narrow stretch of the lagoon in undisputed territory and then march up the beach for a final gathering up by the restaurants. If the beach is open by then we will march up the road. People wishing to arrive by sea can join us. Foreigners who are a little apprehensive can show support by being in the bay with their boats.

All levels of the government are aware of the problem and yet gross civil rights violations are allowed to continue. They promised that they would open the beach by Christmas to allow the villagers to be able to sell some things on the beach to help alleviate the stranglehold poverty now has on this village. The concession of opening the beach, even if it did happen, is more of a slap in the face than anything else since there will be no camping, people will only be able to sell things out of carts, and there is no infrastructure like bathrooms now that they have leveled them with heavy machinery. I can't imagine anyone will want to come from very far if you can only be there during the day. Useless if you are from Guadalajara. This move is just propaganda to say it is open. The conditions cripple any possible step forward.

On another front, ecological and cultural problems at the beach are intensifying. We have received credible reports of mass baby turtle deaths and while Rodenas is probably not responsible for causing them directly, they are not permitting the usual people who protect these hatcheries every year to do their job. Americans visiting Rebalsito also discovered a second ecological tragedy and were able to take photographs. They described a dead cow with over thirty dead vultures around it on the road where the old airport was. It isn't clear if the guards shot these animals or if they poisoned them but the massacre of dozens of these important animals is an ominous sign of the Rodenas style of wildlife management. The locals would never hurt these birds because they have no food value and because they understand that the removal of carrion is critical for the towns' health. Another dramatic development is that after all of Villalobos' talk about how the restaurants were polluting the region, his own guards are going to the bathroom outside after managing the hotel's septic tank system proved too challenging for them. On the cultural front. The people of Rebalsito set off a couple of days ago on their annual march with the Virgin Mary which starts at the church of Rebalsito and ends at the beach for the important blessings that she bestows upon the vessels and people. This year she got to the gate flanked by a peaceful group that included many children. The procession was stopped at the gate and not allowed to enter in a move that is low even for Villalobos.

Meanwhile in Rebalsito, a dedicated team of foreigners with Tenacatita in their hearts is continuing to work with the locals to provide staple food supplies to those most affected by the beach closure. We are inviting the general public to peacefully assemble in Rebalsito on December 27 by 9 AM. I know that foreigners are a little apprehensive about these sorts of things but this is really important and it could be your rights that someone chooses to take next. If you don't want to land fine but please join us in your boat or donate to the cause. If the beach is opened, we would all meet at 9 AM in Rebalsito anyway and march down the road to Tenacatita. We have to make sure that Tenacatita stays in the national spotlight. I will be arriving in the area next week and will be working on bringing the voices of the people to the media in English and Spanish and will be pushing this important issue into the United States media.

I hope you will forward this invitation to as many people as you can and that you will join our group here:

Please participate. I know we can reverse this injustice, we just need your help. I will be sending another letter as the date gets closer with more details.

Paz y bien,
Juan Frost

Thursday, December 16, 2010

November 30th video of Tenacatita beach

From Dobie:

Sorry to report that the gate is still there. Yes, the beach is open if they feel like letting you in, and you show your I.D. (so they can write your name down) and you don't take a camera or a cell phone, and they'll watch you the whole time, and there are no services, and, and, and....

In yesterday's Jornada article it says that Villalobos "could" sign the agreement this week, (which would open the beach, but with many conditions) and then he would have 5 days to get his guys out of there, or at least only on his supposed 42.5 hectares. But the conditions include days use only, no camping, no one can build palapas or open restaurants, only vendedores ambulantes (with permits, of course). Doesn't sound much like free access to me. Most people here think it's unacceptable; others feel like it's a first step.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mesa de Dialogo

Posted by Dobie on November 23, 2010

Hi -
We left at 11:00 pm on Sunday for another all night bus ride to Guadalajara, for the mesa de dialogo that the federal diputados were planning for noon on Tuesday (Nov. 22). About 75 people from El Rebalsito attended the event, along with maybe 100 (or more) others. It was quite a big deal - tarps set up for shade, a low platform for the diputados, several big tv screens that showed 2 videos from Tenacatita (including the one from the day the diputados came and pulled down the fence); the diputados had boxes with thousands of bumper stickers - EMILIO Regresenos Tencatita (Emilio - Give us back Tenacatita) and fliers. Before the event started we were in groups on all the nearby street corners - handing them out as vehicles stopped for red lights, and to people passing by.

There were 7 federal diputados (from 3 political parties - PRI, PRD and PAN), one local diputado and a representative of the Human Rights Commission. No one from the governor's office came (even though it's right across the street), and he said that he never received an invitation. But the diputados had a copy of the letter inviting him and with a stamp and signature showing it was received by his office. SEMARNAT (environmental agency) sent a letter saying they couldn't send anyone but supported the diputados in opening the road and the beach. And no surprise, no one from Rodenas showed up. So how can you have a dialogue, when two of the main parties involved aren't willing to meet?

For the first time since the desalojo, I think everyone felt like the diputados really understood, and really wanted to see justice prevail. Each one spoke to a different effect of the desalojo, from the loss of homes, belongings, jobs, a whole way of life, to the insecurity, the lack of peace and justice, the effect on the children, to the condition of the state of Jalisco, where the governor is incompetent and does whatever he wants.... They were quite impassioned and almost all mentioned that this was a political issue, but not a partisan one. That the commission (composed of 10 diputados) wanted to uphold the constitution and the laws of Mexico, and they would take the issue to the Supreme Court if necessary. One lamented the fact that we came all the way from El Rebalsito, and no one from the governor's office would cross the street to take part in the dialogue.

There were two very welcome pieces of news. One is that the government of La Huerta is going to get the concession to the beach (and the ocean beach), and soon. The other is that the diputados assured us that the beach will be open in time for Christmas vacation so that people can come and camp and enjoy the beach, and everyone here can get back to work, however they can - setting up tarps, umbrellas, whatever... You can imagine how happy everyone was to hear that news! It's changed the whole vibe of the town. Everyone feels more hopeful

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tenacatita Trouble Videos

A video about the recent trouble in Tenacatita and how you can help.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Don't privatize the beaches of Jalisco

Don't privatize the beaches of Jalisco
Don't privatize the beach of Tenacatita

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Slice of paradise becomes nightmare for Canadian

Slice of paradise becomes eviction nightmare for Canadian in Mexico

Surrey resident Siegfried Schiffmacher purchased land near the beach in Tenacatita, Mexico, for $30,000 in 2006, but is unable now to access the property because of a titling dispute. He thought the title was good because it was endorsed by the Mexican president's office.
Photograph by: David Agren, Postmedia News

LA MANZANILLA, Mexico — Siegfried Schiffmacher thought he had found an idyllic slice of paradise in 2006 when he purchased a large lot at Tenacatita, a spit of land in Mexico with spectacular oceans views to the front and a calm bay with clear water and a golden-sand beach to the back.

He thought he had found a sound investment, too: The 1,007-square-metre property — once part of a communal farm known as an "ejido" — came with a title validated by then-president Vicente Fox.

Those illusions were shattered Aug. 4, when more than 150 state police officers raided Tenacatita, acting on an eviction order won by a Guadalajara-area businessman, Andres Villalobos, who claimed title to 42 hectares of land — including Schiffmacher's lot — that he purchased in 1991 from the widow of a former Jalisco state governor.

"When you buy with a title signed by the president, it feels secure," said Schiffmacher, a retired telecom entrepreneur from Surrey, B.C., whose wife, Margarita, is a Mexican national. "We never thought this would happen."

Schiffmacher's plight highlights the perils of investing in paradise and, he estimates, affects at least 15 Canadians.

It also highlights the problem of purchasing in a country with lingering conflicts over land and titles — two key grievances that fuelled the Mexican Revolution, the centennial of which is being observed this year — and how these unresolved squabbles are affecting foreigners a century later as they move south in increasing numbers and unwittingly into areas with histories of property disputes.

Complete Vancover Sun Article

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tenacatita desalojo informacion

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

March for Tenacatita in Guadalajara

March for Tenacatita in Guadalajara

Around 1,000 people march on the state palace in Guadalajara to protest the land takeover at the Tenacatita beach by a wealthy businessman.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recent foto of restaurant destruction

Recent foto of palapa restaurant destruction in Tenacatita

The Rodenas company bulldozers destroyed the buildings of residents of Tenacatita, municipality of La Huerta, Jalisco, who were evicted last week

Picture by Campos Arturo Cedillo

Saturday, August 07, 2010

More from the Guadalajara Reporter

State police evict homeowners in beach community of Tenacatita

Villalobos has been trying the get the low-income families evicted from the land for two decades, ever since he purchased 42 hectares of Tenacatita beachfront land from the wife of a former state governor in 1991. (He apparently obtained the federal beach concession rights in 1993.) Many of the businesses on the undeveloped beach are palapa seafood restaurants that have been serving tourists and locals for more than 40 years.

Francisco Martinez Flores, the ejido (local land commune) commissioner for El Rebalsito, said the ejiditarios own the 42 hectares and have the land titles to prove it.

La Huerta Mayor Carlos Ramirez Nuñez called the eviction "unfair" and said municipal authorities would do all in their power to help the families return to their homes.

But if they get ever back to their homes and businesses, there may be nothing left of them. After the families left in pick-up trucks with their belongings – some making as many as 10 trips to and from the highway – police brought in heavy machinery, presumably to demolish the palapa huts and homes, and blocked the only road leading to the beach. None one was allowed in without an "official" escort. Both the La Huerta municipal secretary and a Puerto Vallarta-based Jalisco Human Rights Commission observer had to give up their cellphones and cameras to police before they were allowed to enter the area, according to reports from Spanish-language daily Milenio. La Huerta municipal cops who turned up to provide "additional security" were also barred from entering. The area resembled "a war zone," commented one foreign resident at the scene.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Tenacatita eviction

Wed, 04/08/2010 - 12:06

Guadalajara .- In an operation that began early this day, dozens of riot elements of the State Bureau of Public Security have carried out the eviction of residents from the beach of Tenacatita in alleged support of the rights of the Real Estate Rodenas, which headed by businessman Jose Maria Andres Villalobos, which currently has enraged those affected, denounced Salvador Magana, a former member of the council of La Huerta.

"There are at least 800 people affected among fishermen, restaurateurs and merchants, is the third time in 20 years that an eviction is violent, but people are not willing to be put in relief the PRD militant.

This is a surprise with only elements operating state, on the side of the City of La Huerta, no surprise and concern. According to the activist told him, the municipality has requested support from police in other municipalities to ensure the security of the population, but farmers are outraged, and analyze federal block the road to avoid consuming eviction.

Those affected are in possession of the area since 1960. Then the small landowner neighbor was the former governor Jesús González Gallo, who always respected them. In 1991, the president's widow, Paz Gortázar, sold the estate was left to businessman Jose Maria Andres Villalobos, owner of the property Rodenas. The following year, the fishermen had their houses burned by a party of rural allegedly the service of his opponent. The key to what they suffered is that in 1993, the federal maritime-terrestrial zone, which traders had held since almost 25 years ago, he was awarded the real estate entrepreneur, being the owner of the neighboring properties, but ignoring disregard of a concession granted to Francisco Montelongo Aguayo, one of the restaurateurs of the site. Based on that element, Rodenas denounced the arrests and led landholders in 2006. And now the facts are repeated, with the general indignation.
Agustin del Castillo

Friday, June 04, 2010

Kids playing on the beach

Tenacatita is a great beach for kids - and adults

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Tenacatita YouTube Slideshow

Tenacatita, Jalisco, Mexico is a few kilometers north of Melaque. Beautiful beaches, snorkeling and seafood restaurants.

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