Saturday, October 15, 2011

Judges give hope to Tenacatita evictees

From the Guadalajara Reporter - October 14th

A district judge who rubber-stamped the eviction of restaurant and businesses owners on Tenacatita beach last year was not qualified to issue the order, the Jalisco Supreme Court has ruled. The September 21 decision gives hope to dozens of families living in nearby El Rebalsito, who may soon be able to return to the beachfront land where they have worked for more than three decades.

The three Novena Sala (Ninth Salon) magistrates ruled that Guadalajara real estate firm Rodenas Inmobiliaria must now make reparations for all damages occurred when state police – acting on the order of the 2nd district court judge in Autlan – forcibly took over the zone in the early morning of August 4, 2010. The eviction resulted from Rodenas’ decades-old dispute over land ownership rights with the local Resbalse de Apazulco ejido.

Rest of the Article

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Demonstration for Tenacatita in Long Beach CA

The governor of Jalisco, Emilio Marquez was in Long Beach California and Diputado Salvador Caro and people from Temacapulin and Tenacatita were there to greet him. When they said they wanted to speak with him, he said he wasn't prepared for a conversation. They waited outside the Mexican Consulate, but he never came out - he left through another door.

Lorena Sahagun said (paraphrased) that he saw them and didn't have the guts to speak with them; but what counts is that he knows that they haven't forgotten.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PROFEPA tells Rodenas to take down the fence

PROFEPA tells Rodenas to take down the fence (and more)
Posted by Dobie on April 14, 2011, 11:53 am

Last week representatives of SEMARNAT (Secdretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) delivered a document to Villalobos. It's 8 pages long, but these are the relevant parts: (a brief translation follows each part)

Delegación Jalisco.
Subdelegación Jurídica.
Asunto: Acuerdo de Emplazamiento
Guadalajara, Jalisco, a 22 de febrero de 2011

Con motivo de la visita de inspección … (del 27 de octubre de 2010) … se emite el presente acuerdo que a la letra dice:…


The letter is sent by PROFEPA stemming from a visit by SEMARNAT. From what I understand, SEMARNAT makes the laws and PROFEPA enforces them.

1.- Presunta violación … de Concesión número DZF-846/92 de fecha 05 de enero de 1993 el cual establece que: “’EL CONCESIONARIO’” se abstendrá de realizar cualquier acto que tenga por objeto tratar de construir playas privadas o impedir el libre acceso a las mismas,…)”…

The conditions of Rodenas' Concession says that they have to abstain from doing anything to impede free access to the beach.

"Para garantizar el libre tránsito por la zona federal y/o terrenos ganados al mar, 'EL CONCESIONARIO’ se obligué a establecer accesos específicos … y a, no levantar obstáculos que limitan la libre transitabilidad, 'LA SECRETARIA’ podrá determinar el establecimiento de uno o mas accesos procurando afectar lo menos posible los derechos de aprovechamiento que esta concesión otorga"

To guarantee free access, Rodenas can't put up any obstacles and the Secretary will establish access point(s) to ensure maximum access to the beach.

… la cual establece que: "Queda estrictamente prohibido delimitar la zona concesionada con cercas, alambrados. bardas, setos o cualquier otro elemento semejante que impida el libre tránsito peatonal por este bien federal. El incurrir en este supuesto seria cause de revocación de la concesi6n." (sic.)

The concession says it's stricly prohibited put up fences or whatever might impede free pedestrian access to the federal zone. Violation will be cause for revocation of the concession.

… toda vez que al momento de la visite de inspecci6n se encontró una caseta de vigilancia custodiada por elementos de la Policía Auxiliar y de la Dirección General de Seguridad Publica, ambas de la Secretaria de Seguridad Pública del estado de Jalisco, así como la instalación de una malla ciclónica con doble puerta con cadenas y candados que impide el libre tránsito o acceso a la playa de Tenacatita, lugar en que el transito a la Zona Federal Marítimo Terrestre se limita de forma discrecional. ya que al inquirir a los vigilantes al respecto del paso hacia la porción de Zona Federal concesionada al XXXX, quien es titular… de la Concesi6n numero XXXX, se inform6 que solamente el inspector podría acceder a la Zona Federal que se pretendía visitar, no así el propio XXXXX,…

Still, when SEMARNAT came to the beach on Feb. 22, the encountered the fences, chains, locks and the guard booth. They were coming to inspect another concession as well, but the guards would only allow the inspector from SEMARNAT and not the owner of the other concession.

Deberá de acreditar ante esta Delegación de la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente en el estado de Jalisco que se permite el libre acceso del público a la Zona Federal … en la playa de Tenacatita … y que no se utiliza medio y/o argumento coercitivo alguno para impedir el paso y/o libre tránsito de las personas por la dicha área. … (laza de cumplimiento: 5 días hábiles…)

Rodenas has to show PROFEA that they're allowing free access to the beach. They've got 5 days to comply.

The 5 days are up. Now the notary has to come to witness that they haven't complied. Then a demanda to PROFEA to act. This is a BIG step forward as it's the first time a federal agency has actually taken action (even if it's only the first step).

Sorry this is so long, but I know lots of people think nothing's happening.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tenacatita Update

Posted by dobie on March 22, 2011, 7:49 am

Unfortunately it appears that not much has changed at Tenacatita. The fence is still up, the gates are still closed, and access is still given very arbitrarily. At the last ejido meeting, a letter was read from SEMARNAT. Apparently they came to serve Rodenas with a fine for cutting mangroves and an order to replant the amount of trees that they had cut down. Unfortunately they weren't allowed in. On the legal front, the juicios (judgments) are starting to be heard. A new acuerdo (agreement) is being worked out by the government, ejido lawyers and diputado David Hernandez (the one who pulled the gate down with his pickup truck). It looks like they're trying to work something out before Semana Santa.

A reporter for a Mexican business magazine called PODER (POWER) was here last weekend interviewing people. She also had a 2 hour interview with Villalobos in Guadalajara. Her article is supposed to be done soon; she'll let me know when it's ready.

I know many people think the battle has been lost but I don't believe that. Villalobos hasn't started building anything - back in August he said that in 6 months there would be a hotel. The juicios are proceeding, which means many lawyers, judges, and engineers have been out to the property to see for themselves the destruction (although some have been denied access or told to come back another day).

La lucha sigue, Tenacatita vive

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Gringo Day at Rebalsito Fiesta

Gringo Day at Rebalsito Fiesta: a small town fights for its life
Friday, March 04 2011 14:22 Tina Rosa
Guadalajara Reporter article

This year El Rebalse de Apazulco celebrates its 68th birthday since the formation of the ejido in 1943. A sleepy little town on Jalisco’s coast, Rebalsito is known for two things: the nearby beach of Tenacatita and the annual fiesta, which in years past has stretched to six debauched days of birria, dancing and bull riding.

Los Amigos de Tenacatita set up a table at the entrance, selling bright yellow t-shirts with the Unidos Tenecatita “Tierra y Libertad” logo. The official fiesta kick-off is La Farola, the evening street dancing on Thursday, February 17. This year, the mass commemorating the sixth anniversary of the death of Juan Virgen Medina, better known as La Zeta, is the same afternoon.

The wooden benches of the small church are almost full, and vases of lilies, carnations and mums adorn four pedestals. A beloved ejido comisario and unifying personality in the civic life of this rancho, La Zeta is much missed, and his absence is felt even more profoundly six months after the infamous night of August 4, when, just before dawn, Jalisco state police and muscle hired by Inmobiliaria Rodenas forced Tenacatita residents out of their homes and businesses at gunpoint. Since then, the investment and development group has held the Tenacatita beach hostage, blocking the public road with a chain link fence and gate manned by armed guards, depriving access to the people who have worked at the beach for generations: Rebalsito’s fishermen, divers, restaurant owners, tourist guides, and storekeepers. The malaise of sadness and frustration that hangs over the town is palpable. The community has staggered along in an economic void, scrabbling for a living, and supported in part by a group of foreigners and sympathetic Mexicans, Los Amigos de Tenacatita.

Chely, the plump and attractive dueña of the former restaurant of the same name, has had to relocate to Melaque, where she and her sister struggle to get a new business up and running. But, she assures me, she will be in Rebalsito on the evening of La Farola.

“We have to dance off the bad stuff,” she explains, gesturing with her hands as though flinging off sticky mud.

Just at dusk, the giant horno inside the casino is already lit with a roaring fire of coco husks. The oven, large enough to seat nine or ten people inside, on chairs, gets so hot you can’t rest your hand against the adobe side – the test that it is ready to accommodate the ten or 12 clay casseroles in which the birria stews for about five hours. Chile, a Canadian member of our group, Los Amigos de Tenacatita, estimates it will be dawn before the oven is hot enough.

It’s been years since the ejido has cooked the birria here – normally it was contracted out. But on August 4, 800 people lost their livelihoods. Now, the economy dictates a return to the old ways – do it yourself. The situation is desperate, as one inhabitant tells me sadly, “The town is dying. When that many people lose their work, everyone’s business is affected. You can’t even sell a juice on the street.”

Ten foreigners who have camped at Playa Tenacatita for over 30 winter seasons are now refugees along with the locals who have been ousted from their beach. We’ve come to Rebalsito this winter to show support for our Mexican friends and pump a little money into the community. Camping in the coco plantation of our friend Dobie, an expat from California who is now a Mexican citizen, we’ve shared meals, dispensed food to the community, thrown a Christmas party for the kids, strategized, and funded paint for signs and banners to hang at the fiesta, proclaiming the harm done to this community. At the entrance to town a banner informs visitors, “Las Playas son para Todos, No Solo para los Ricos. Salvemos Tenacatita – es nuestra Patrimonio.”

In the evening the band trumpets a rousing opening, and the young and the very young form lines. Some of us older folks get roped in by friends. Violeta is the only adult in a long line of children, and Dobie and I are on the end of a cracking whip forcefully manipulated by a young, very strong hunk. The idea appears to be to gallop forward, suddenly reverse direction, and swing the people hanging on to the ends into oblivion, possibly trampling the line behind you in the process. Two blocks into it, I end up on my butt – for the first time – wrong sandals! The second time I fall, I let my partners lift me to standing posture and decide to fade quietly into the background.

At dawn, Friday Banda Perla Blanca is back at it, playing a raucous Las Mañanitas for the ejido’s birthday while a handful of young people dance in the street on the corner in front of Novedades Montserrat, a storefront painted a cheerful lime green and pink.

In passing, I pat the big horno. It’s stone cold – uh oh. Some guys in a pickup come along and slide the door open; the fire’s gone out. They try tossing in some kerosene, but it’s too far gone. This doesn’t bode well for eating this afternoon, but they seem unconcerned. And, sure enough, some how they pull it off and by 3 p.m. about 200 guests, a smaller group than any year previously, are sitting down to a meal in the casino, and the birria is pronounced rica!

Los Amigos de Tenacatita set up a table at the entrance, selling bright yellow t-shirts with the Unidos Tenecatita “Tierra y Libertad” logo. They are an instant hit, and soon yellow shirts bloom all over the open-air hall.

Couples dance vigorously to the very loud music, swaying hips in tight unison, the women flashing their stuff in tight jeans, glamorous blouses and stiletto heels, while the men, in requisite cowboy attire, propel them around deftly.

Though there’s a poor turn-out the first two days, everybody shows up for Gringo Day – we’ve got a rep for putting on a good feed with plenty of food and beer for everybody. The tradition started in the late 70’s when the gringos camped at Tenacatita were invited to join in and sponsor a day of the fiesta. The foreigners saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community and serve the people who spend all winter serving us in their restaurants, stores and hotels.

The place is packed, and immediately we are plummeted into the frenzy of dishing up plates and serving over 550 people – men drag the pots of stew out of the horno with long pipes with a metal loop at the end –and soon we glop rice on plates and scoop chunks of tender beef and sizzling juice.

This is the last night of celebration, and the Plaza de Toros Juan Virgen M “La Zeta” is packed with people sitting on the tiered cement bancos. On the flat upper levels the local babes strut in their impossibly high-heeled boots, and people chat and dance to La Banda Perla Blanca while venders sell cotton candy and balloons.

The first big band, Brisa Azul, (inexplicably dressed in yellow jackets, not blue ones) is setting up on the huge, brightly lit stage. When they launch into their first number the music is so loud my whole body throbs with the beat. Meanwhile, up here on the elevated promenade, Banda Perla plays on – it’s a battle of the bands.

At last the line of riders stride in to the middle of the arena, wearing fancy fringed chaps. After each cowboy is introduced by name and town, they all kneel to pray – this is a dangerous business. It’s not like long ago here when the “bulls” were more like calves that had to be prodded into doing anything at all. We’re soon to see some pretty powerful and scary action.

But before the first bull, the announcer invites Chile and MaryAnn and Dobie, as representatives of the foreign community, to come down into the ring, where each is draped with a red silken ribbon and thanked for their work. It’s a proud moment for all of us.

Later, after the bucking bulls and fearless cowboys have sent hearts racing, the featured band, Yahir, starts up, but it sounds just like the other band to me. We gringos have had enough, so we pack up our boxes and carry table and chairs back to Dobie’s truck. It’s been an exhilarating and exhausting day, and we all fall asleep to the sounds of the band drifting through the palm grove of the compound, glad to be here and be a part of this town’s celebration and of its struggle to survive. But so much more help is needed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ministerio Publico Accused of Freezing Accusations in Tenacatita

Acusan que MP congeló denuncias en Tenacatita por órdenes de la PGJEJ

The gist of the story is that about 50 denuncias (accusations) filed by the people evicted from Tenacatita are frozen by orders of the Procuraduria General de Justicia del Estado. These are accusations related to the destruction and robbery of structures and personal property.They've been sitting in a desk in La Huerta and have gone absolutely nowhere.

Once again this shows that the state government and judiciary are doing everything they can to prevent justice for the people.

Who froze the documents?
Party boy, Tomas Coronado Olmos?
He's another long time friend of the Governor.
I have a new nickname for Villalobos. From now on I will refer to him as Tenacatita el Lobo.

Demand to know why the documents have been frozen. It is only when the entire story is known that justice will be served. I doubt if this will happen in Jalisco. The Human Rights Commission in Mexico has a reputation for witholding documents, lack of accountability, and/or transparency. I really think an International Human Rights organization needs to be notified.

Good luck.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Camping Tenacatita 2011

Idea for the adventurous or for some tour group. Hire a boat, camp over and bring whatever you need (including booze).

The area they stayed looks to be much further down the beach from the old palapas and snorkeling beaches

Tenacatita, Jalisco, Mexico, 2011

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Hidden Camera Video

Hidden Camera Video of an Encounter with the Police on Public Land In Tenacatita

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