Re: "Don't cry for me, Zihuatanejo"

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Escrito por ZihuaRob desde ( el día jueves, 14 de agosto, 2008 a las 12:42:26 horas :

En respuesta a: "Don't cry for me, Zihuatanejo" escrito por Robin - Vancouver desde ( el día jueves, 14 de agosto, 2008 a las 11:30:13 horas :

Well, therein lies the BIG problem. Apparently NO politician is going to remove the squatters or revert the zoning to back the way it was. There certainly appears to be collusion among the authorities responsible for protecting the environment (SEMARNAT) and the developers with the politicians in the middle with their large hands out.

Just today I was reading about a bayfront construction in Acapulco that is being blocked by protesting fishermen. The developers say they are going to sue the fishermen for holding up the project and costing them millions of pesos per day. But the developers also admit that construction has been carried out so far without any approved environmental impact study. That means they also don't have the necessary construction permits because you can't get one without the other. That same problem repeats itself time after time after time here. Construction is allowed to take place in absence of permits and environmental impact studies as well as without complying to building regulations (such as the ongoing construction/destruction at Ciguatan overlooking Playa La Madera). Palms are greased and developers get away with just about anything.

Additionally, a plan for sustainable development and rational use of our municipal lands including the protection of our ecological zones was authorized by the municipal government and carried out by a reputable independent organization, but when it was finished the politicians of the PRD (the party in power at the municipal and state levels) realized that the plan protected areas that they were trading away to tens of thousands of squatters for votes as well as the lands of the new megaprojects where they also expect to extort a ton of money "authorizing" permits and "overlooking" infractions. They tried to get the plan rewritten to cover their arses, but by the time they realized their mistake it was too late, so the plan is currently in political limbo and obviously no one is respecting the lands it was supposed to protect or adhering to the type of development the plan recommends for designated areas.

I have tried to make your voices heard by the "responsible authorities", but the party in power has not shown any real interest in your opinions or whether you return to visit or invest in Zihuatanejo. They appear to ONLY be interested in staying in power, jumping from one public post to another (what we call a chapulín or grasshopper) and making a ton of money as fast as they can by the awarding of contracts for kickbacks and other spheres of influence that make money for them. While the bay continues becoming more polluted they are spending public money and their energies on populist programs to convince all the poor people they brought here to occupy our hillsides that they are looking out for their interests, meanwhile we taxpayers and established businesses are simply taxed out of business or are unable to compete with street vendors selling the same merchandise as many stores but without the overhead (i.e. taxes, permits, rents, etc). And of course the bay continues getting worse, our infrastructure continues deteriorating, and the "responsible authorities" and even some of the hotel operators pretend the problem is the U.S. economy or the shark incidents or the weather or some other unfavorable news... ANYTHING but their lack of attention to our perennial problems of infrastructure and development.

Everyone with at least half a brain or more is determined to vote the rascals out, but the damage is done and there simply isn't the necessary political will to reestablish the ecological zones by removing the squatters.

Perhaps the only thing left for our visitors from abroad to do is to write letters here or to the Secretaría de Turismo explaining why they won't be returning to Zihuatanejo. Though I hope that isn't yet the case.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the candidate for mayor, and I intend to express the collective points of view of our cherished visitors that I have read here and elsewhere. I feel that my voice should carry some weight because I have first contact with more of our visitors than possibly anyone else who lives here. I have also lived and worked in tourist areas most of my life, and I can draw on some excellent and very relevant examples of communities I've lived in or am familiar with that have experienced some of the same or similar problems we are having and how they resolved them. Whether anyone actually listens to me is another matter, but I've never been shy about speaking my mind, so hopefully I can sow the seeds of hope and inspiration for a better future.

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