As police try to evict them, residents are fighting back, saying they are tired of foreign investors excluding local people from their home town.
In Mexican beach town, squatters make a stand against developers
Unchecked development has hit this once laidback beach town of Tulum on Mexico’s Caribbean coast so hard that developers are now eager – even desperate – to build condominiums and hotels in a shantytown.
While police are trying to evict squatters so towering condos can be built next to wood and tarpaper shacks, residents are fighting back, saying they are tired of foreign investors excluding local people from their own coast.
In the latest clash on July 27, police accompanying a backhoe fired tear gas and tried to knock down some squatters’ homes in the shadow of a new, balconied condo building. The attempt ended when wind shifted the gas back on to officers, who retreated under a hail of rocks.
The contrast between rich and poor is stark: Gleaming white four-story condos with vaguely Mayan-sounding names and English slogans like “Live in the Luscious Jungle” and “An immersive spiritual experience” stand next to shacks made of poles, packing crates, tarps and tin roofing.