Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fundraising, legal battle(s) continue over Tenacatita takeover

TENACATITA, Jalisco, Mexico - Efforts to raise money - to help the people evicted from Tenacatita August 4, 2010 - are continuing. As many as 800 people, including many families, were evicted by armed men operating under the direction of developer Jose Villalobos of Guadalajara who has said in numerous printed accounts that he plans to build a luxury hotel and golf course on 42 hectares of land there.

In addition to the funding raising, numerous court cases in Guadalajara are continuing also.

Gate on state highway, barring access to beach
A motion by Villalobos to deny any court hearings on his armed seizure of the Tenacatita Beach (and oceanfront) was turned back in the last few weeks. Guadalajara courts are likely to begin hearing arguments for  'amparos,' in each case.

Because Mexican law does not allow for a class action lawsuit, each of the people whose property was seized have had to file individual lawsuits.

And each suit will need to proceed on its own merits. Witnesses for the property owners have been alerted that they may be testifying.

Adding to the slowness of the process is that legal documents are traveling from La Huerta to lawyers in Guadalajara via the Mexican snail mail system.

Villalobos claims that he bought the land more than 20 years ago and that the people evicted were squatters on his land. Many of those alleged squatters hold federal titles signed by former Mexican President Vincente Fox or current President, Felipe Calderon. And among that group are numerous Americans, Canadians and Europeans who purchased the titled land and in some cases, had built homes.

Jose Villalobos
In one case, a Canadian couple built a small RV park.

Virtually all of those buildings - as well as the restaurants and palapas that dotted the Tenacatita Beach - have been bulldozed by Villalobos. Guards patrol the beach, challenging people who arrive by boat.

A gate was constructed across the state highway to deny access to the beach. Some people have reported that they are allowed through, but only after surrending identification and leaving their cameras.

While the court cases continue, efforts to raise funds to help the Mexican families displaced continue. Many of the people are living in nearby Rebalsito.

Shirts for sale at the La Manzanilla cup sailboat race
The La Manzanilla message board has carried numerous messages about how to help the displaced people. This one from Dobie of Rebalsito tells where to donate: LINK: Donating to Tenacatita

At the same time, t-shirts are being sold to raise money - as well as awareness about the seizure of the titled land and eviction of the residents.

The shirts are usually available for sale in the morning Friday market in the jardin in La Manzanilla.


Dobie Dolphin said...

Thank you Michael for continuing to inform your readers about the ongoing struggle to reclaim Tenacatita beach.

felisa said...

Thanks for reporting. I'm posting this to my Facebook page.