TENACATITA, Jalisco, Mexico - The stalag-like gates, barbed wire, surly unshaven guards with machine guns and the barking attack dogs will likely remain in place now, keeping the public (and legitimate landowners) from going back to the beautiful beaches here, once enjoyed by thousands.
Three legal cases (of many filed) might be able to move forward.
In the surprise attack and armed takeover, nearly 800 Mexican citizens - and few gringos - were rousted
from homes by 200 police and forced to leave at gunpoint.
possessions were seized, stores looted. A few household items were
A number of unarmed people were hurt in the assault, though none of the armed men who assaulted the property owners were arrested or convicted.
bad news for the plaintiffs - whose property was taken - came after nearly two
years of litigation. They learned that their amparo cases have been
thrown out and attorneys say there really doesn't seem to be any further
avenues for appeal. Many non-Mexicans had purchased properties along
the ocean. A few had built houses and in one case a small RV park. One of those houses is being used as a
headquarters for the guards.
In Mexico, guns, money and
political influence seems to have overruled good public policy and potentially good
relations with future investors.
Villalobos has indicated he wants to
build a golf course and resort along the scenic beach, but investors apparently are shy about
contributing to his dream. Perhaps it's having their cars searched on the way in to
look at the property, lunging guard dogs or the guards themselves.
Below is a photo of the armed
gunmen evicting some of residents of Tenacatita in 2010. Many of the
evictees hold titles on their land, signed by the President of Mexico.