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JULY EXTRA! 2016

 

Around town…

 

PA’s municipal delegation

asks to have its own mayor

By Staff
There is a move afoot in the poblado’s political delegation to create a mayor’s position in Puerto Aventuras. If such an alteration should come to pass – and a decision on the plan could happen this month – Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon says he doubts the modification would have much, if any effect on the community’s  generally self-governing resort at least until November when a new municipal administration takes charge.

From what can be gathered thus far, the request to establish a mayoralty in Puerto Aventuras is aimed mostly at affording the indigenous community – comprising the poblado and the massive Puerto Maya sector – an updated measure of fiscal and political autonomy, subject however to oversight by the municipal seat of Solidaridad in Playa del Carmen. In a meeting this week, the Citizen’s Council moved to invite the University of Quintana Roo to help in a proper transformation.

It appears the proposal aims to assure that the Puerto Aventuras municipal delegation is allotted a more equitable return on the tax dollars the community sends to the municipality, and more control over how it is spent.

The plan was presented to the city council earlier this month by Councilor Emilio Tamargo, and was initially viewed favorably by that body pending legal review.

Tamargo pointed out that Puerto Aventuras is no longer a community of “just 6,000” residents, pegging the population now at 11,000 according to the Municipal Population Council while other reports count as many as 15,000 inhabitants. The higher population figures and the distance between Puerto Aventuras and the municipal seat in Playa requires a more elevated, responsive and efficient status, Tamargo infers.

 

Library sets summer hours:

The Puerto Aventuras Library will begin summer hours on Wednesday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays only until August 10.  Regular schedule will resume on August 15.

 

Federal anti-corruption move

on 2 states includes Q. Roo

By Staff
The Pena Nieto administration took aim at two state governments this week over allegations they defied federal anti-corruption laws. One of those states is tourism-rich Quintana Roo. The fed action comes as a mild surprise to the foreign, non-voting community invested in the state’s flourishing tourist sector. The other is the oil-rich but crime-ridden state of Veracruz.

Pena Nieto’s office is pursuing allegations made by critics and the press during the last election that new state prosecutors’ offices in the process of being created in both states are intended to shield the governors of those states from alleged wrongdoing.

The Pena Nieto administration wants the Supreme Court to rule against those measures being implemented by the two states to preempt federal rule. (There are already US indictments outstanding against some three PRI governors.)

The President’s office acted after the people of both states recently voted in gubernatorial elections to end the decades-long reign of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the President’s party, and joining five other states in a rebuke of PRI control.

Quintana Roo’s governor, Roberto Borge, who has been accused of corruption by critics of his administration, denied this week that he has promoted the creation of any state controlled anti-corruption system for self-protection. He said he has full respect for the coming federal anti-corruption initiative.

The weak rule of law and rampant impunity nationwide have been listed by economists as major concerns of investors in Mexico’s future.

Another US fugitive caught here;

faces LA charges of felony fraud

For the second time in three months, international enforcement authorities have taken into custody an alleged fugitive living in Puerto Aventuras. Both fugitives are separately charged in unrelated US warrants concerning fraud complaints in the US and both men were employed of late in the real estate industry in Mexico.

Apprehended last week at a rented, upscale Punta Roca condo was a suspect identified as Wallace E. Thomas, 53, who, it is alleged, is wanted in Los Angeles County, USA, in connection with a multi-million-dollar fraud case involving sales of unqualified securities.

A resident familiar with the arrest scene said Thomas was taken away without incident or resistance. Booking information at the North County Correctional Facility, Los Angeles County, CA, notes Thomas was being held in lieu of $980,000 bail.

In late April, another fugitive, William Bowen, was taken into custody and returned to the Colorado judicial system in the US where he is now incarcerated and facing allegations of fraud. His cases are still pending in Colorado Courts and several hearings scheduled this month.

Details concerning the US charges leveled at Thomas are included in papers filed in LA Superior Court on March 26, 2012 by the LA Department of Corporations. The filing purports that a defendant, Wallace E. Thomas, a/k/a “Wally”, was involved in a continuing scheme with other individuals and businesses in which investors poured $10 million, of which $2.7 million was diverted to Thomas, notes the court filing.

While living in Puerto Aventuras, Thomas and Bowen were employed in real estate sales.The day after Bowen was extradited in April, the rented office of the time-share sales company  in which he reportedly was a partner closed. There are no known official charges on file against either fugitive in Mexico.

 

Limits on Akumal snorkelers

cut profits despite price hike

A limit of 12 snorkelers a day in Akumal Bay per licensed tour operator is reportedly causing fiscal hardship for cooperatives with permits and resentment from companies as far away as Puerto Morelos that were turned away last week, one with a group of 80 swimmers and another with 60.

Recent regulations to control tourism and simultaneously protect sea life that has been endangered by overuse, according to recent studies, has already caused a doubling of the fee from $25 to $50 for tourists to snorkel with turtles. Still, some cooperative members say that leaves little room for profit to make up the loss from the diminished number of tourists.

The limit of 280 snorkelers a day total, or 12 per licensed operator, was instituted by Semarnat (Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources) and is being enforced by agents of Profepa (Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection.)

The issues of curtailing beach access over purported private land and unlimited activity by local tour operators have in the last few months caused protests and demonstrations in which fences were torn down, Molotov cocktails thrown, roads blockaded and tear gas used to disperse protesters in efforts by the cooperatives to maintain access in the face of new hotel construction and get intervention by government.

The negative behaviors awakened government agencies to the need for intervention and the promulgation of rules – basically limiting tour numbers – that are now themselves subject to disagreement.

Studies claim there is a possible link between tumors found on turtles and overuse of the resource by humans.

 

The Roundup…

Hoo Haa lounge was shut down by municipal authorities after months of late-night noise complaints and other problems involving encroachment on common property. The restaurant and lounge abuts Centro HOA properties and generally has been criticized for not responding to legitimate complaints of nearby residents, particularly from the iconic Chac-Hal-Al housing complex, concerning late-night noise. It could not be determined as of this writing whether the closure is permanent or temporary…

Tulum dispossessed hold protest – About 100 aggrieved people who were unceremoniously removed from private homes and hotels they were operating in Tulum’s Punta Pierda area gathered peacefully outside the judiciary building last week to protest government action in removing them from their rented properties for allegedly not paying rent as per an oral agreement, a claim that is disputed. The aggrieved allege government officials conspired to carry out the eviction without warning or displaying a court order. The eviction is causing jitters in some area land investors in Tulum…

The ADO bus company, (Autobuses de Oriente) suspended service to areas of the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas for the safety of their passengers as June came to a close. Those states have recently been subject to violent protests (11 deaths in Oaxaca) over teacher union concerns regarding education reforms and a rise in gang violence…

Meanwhile, police in Solidaridad have been reduced to asking businesses for money to purchase gasoline for police cars after limits were placed on petrol purchases by Solidaridad’s municipal government…

Two deaths from heat stroke, one of them in Solidaridad, prompted officials to release an alert reminding the populace to take precautions against heat that has occasionally risen to 45 degrees Celsius (113 F). The victim in Solidaridad was a 32-year-old laborer…

The massive Mayakoba City project west of 307 continues to foment protests by residents of two nearby neighborhoods concerned about disruptions of their water and sewerage services by the Mayakoba construction process. But the aggrieved added another complaint recently alleging that city officials have increased police patrols in the area that harass and intimidate residents…

Daily rubbish collection service faltered again in June, requiring a posted notice to residents by the Colonos that it was actively “putting pressure” on the municipal collection service to quickly resume daily service. It worked, evidently, as the department responded with a pledge to do just that by the following weekend…

Surprising turn-around – While the US is known for its frequent advisories cautioning Americans about travel in certain Mexico states, a rare step was taken by the foreign ministry of the Bahamas last week cautioning its citizens to use caution traveling to certain US cities in view of the recent spate of deadly shootings. Bahrain and United Arab Emirates followed suit…Meanwhile, police reported 15 people including a family of 11 and six minors were murdered over the weekend in apparent intramural  cartel violence in Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas state…

There is optimism in PA and the area that the summer high season beginning this week will be as good as last year’s, according to tourism sources. While the influx of summer tourists isn’t as exuberant as the Christmas and Easter seasons, the summer high season is longer, reaching into August, say tourism spokesmen. PA service providers and food retailers reported a good season last summer…

Rising prices for gasoline, electricity and other commodities are being lamented by Mexico’s businesses and working class, the latter wondering how it will be able to pay for even basic items… Ten inmates escaped from jail in Cancun over the weekend by going over a wall.

 

Nature watch….

The frigate bird we see here

is a truly unflappable fellow

By Staff

“Cloud nine, please.”

That’s what the frigate birds we see gliding gracefully above the Puerto Aventuras shoreline might order as they enter Mother Nature’s elevator on their roughly 2.5 mile climb half way to the limits of earth’s troposphere, which ends at five to nine miles up before thinning out.

To get there, the frigates ride the winds and clouds that comprise nature’s elevator of convection, which in this case is vertical atmospheric movement by which the warmer air ascends and the colder air descends – up and down like an elevator. That’s what the frigate rides by merely spreading its wings.

Here are a few astonishing facts made possible by the convenient relationship of the frigate’s physical structure and convection’s natural movements: The bird can remain aloft for two months, travel more than 250 miles daily and glide up to 40 miles without flapping its wings at all. Not once. How come?

For one thing, the frigate bird weighs only two to four pounds but has a wingspan of about seven feet. It is quite a high ratio of wingspan to body mass compared, for example, to the Canada geese which weighs 15 pounds and has about the same wingspan as a frigate.

The frigate gets to and uses the elevator thus: It glides under a convenient cloud about 100 feet above the water and fills its wings with warm rising air with such efficiency that up it goes in a corkscrew movement without a flap. They exit the elevator as it reaches about 2000 feet and increasing turbulence by lapping their wings to exit, fly downward to catch another cloud and repeat the cycle.

By the way, the frigate’s feathers aren’t waterproof so they don’t sit on the water after dinner, a repast they must swoop and scoop while skimming in flight just above the water. They don’t splash into the water to stun their prey as does the pelican.

One frigate tracked by ornithologist Henri Weimerskersh, of the National Center for Scientific Research, whose report was fodder for news articles, reached 2.5 miles vertically then glided diagonally downward for nearly 40 miles before catching another cloudy cumulus elevator.

While they spend much of their time at sea, the frigates rest now and then on land, in trees and rocky cliffs. Chances are when we spot them gliding over the Puerto Aventuras caleta, they aren’t lollygagging. They’re looking for an elevator.

 

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule beginning in May is the third week of the month for production at month’s end. Thank you.

The End – Previous edition below

JULY 2016

 

Local activism mild compared

to deaths in teacher protests

By Staff
Recent protests in Akumal, Chetumal and Puerto Aventuras, where teargas, Molotov cocktails and property damage came into play, pale in comparison to violent demonstrations and gang activity reported elsewhere in June that resulted in death and injury.

Reportedly, nine people died and 100 were said to be injured in clashes between the police, teachers and “outside agitators” in Oaxaca state. Authorities say teachers protesting education reforms by the Pena Nieto administration barricaded roads that prohibited delivery of needed supplies to area towns.

Unarmed police attempting to dispel the blockade were pelted with rocks. Federal police chief Enrique Galindo said armed officers were sent to the scene only after shots were fired into the crowd and at police by “unidentified people” believed to be outside agitators.

A general infection of ill temper in the national population, an anemic oil economy and resultant peso devaluation, crime and impunity, have combined to fire unrest and activism in the populations of some states. These conditions have been met with peaceful demonstrations gone awry in some sectors of society and have led to the defeat of President Pena Nieto’s PRI party in 7 of 12 states during recent gubernatorial elections.

The ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, met its first defeats in 80 years in the states of tourist-rich Quintana Roo on the Caribbean and oil-rich Gulf states of Veracruz and neighboring Tamaulipas, two political districts riddled with gang violence.

The embarrassing upsets of the PRI fostered the recent resignation of party chief Manio Fabio Beltrones, who is considered to be in the running for Mexican president in 2018.

On the heel of these events, United Nations human rights expert Christof Heyns, author of a 2013 study of Mexico’s public protection sectors showing little change in the protection of the public, said, “Extrajudicial killings and excessive use of force by security officers persist.”

In a follow-up report to the 2013 fact-finding mission, he said in June that protective measures remain ineffective and that impunity and lack of accountability in right-to-life violations remain a considerable government challenge. As though to prove his point, 21 people including three federal officers were shot dead last week in gang violence over a period of only two days in Guerrero state and two journalists murdered during the month in other parts of Mexico.

Around Town…

Shared GoMart/Europea outlet

disappoints some local consumers

By Staff
What was initially billed by word of mouth as the coming of the upscale La Europea wine, liquor and deli outlet in the main gate area has so far turned out to be more a standard convenience store with but a touch of Europea.

That’s the reports coming in from some disappointed residents who were looking forward to a full-fledged La Europea similar to the one in Playa del Carmen with its considerable assortment of wines and exotic deli-cacies.

“There’s just a couple of alleys of wine that I could see,” said one dismayed resident. “It hardly adds to the image the resort seems to be looking for in its main gate remodeling project.”

Said another: “I thought it would be bigger and have a deli section. It does have more local options for wine and liquor and a few Italian items like canned tomatoes.” Another shopper said Europea looks more like an extension of the convenience store rather than the main attraction.

One lamented, “Having been to La Europea in Playa, I would have expected something similar. However, the placement indicates that it is more a convenience store for people stopping to purchase gas. The wine selection is not bad, as well as some liquor products. There was a case in the back that did have pre-packed cuts of cheese, and looked like they were possibly going to expand. However, pre-packed isn’t quite as good as fresh cut at the deli.”

On other fronts, the Colonos reports that the first phase of the Main Gate Project is going at a slower pace than predicted, with a new completion date set for mid-September.

The project – essentially landscaping, roadwork and general site preparation for Phase 2 that will add more lanes through the gate and enhance the security office – hopes to achieve an image of simple good taste and dignity when completed. It was said the gate area as it is looks “diminished” compared to the glitz and pizzazz of the all-inclusive entrances along 307.

In other community developments, the new golf-cart parking lot carved out of a chunk of Centro near the CEDAM museum came up about five spaces short of what had been designed. The Colonos, Centro and developer are expected to explore more potential spaces in hopes of accommodating at least 20 carts in Centro, thus leaving that many spaces for cars.

And to those inquiring about the proposed “doggie park,” the Colonos reports that an appropriate site has yet to be offered by the developer.

“The biggest news is that there isn’t much of it,” said one wag in reference to the diminished numbers of people remaining in the resort during the low season.

 

Akumal reports jet ski intrusion

over turtle feeding sanctuary

Craft reportedly came from Puerto Aventuras

By Staff
Akumal’s ecological center said two jet skis entered waters over the turtle sanctuary feeding area in Akumal Bay on June 26, a protected area closed to power boat activity.

Amanda Baye, a spokesperson for the ecology center, said the jet skis were not registered and that the drivers refused to identify themselves when asked to do so by center personnel. It was later learned, Baye said, the drivers and presumed owners of the jet skis, were from Puerto Aventuras.

She said the port captain has been briefed and that Profepa, the federal attorney for environmental protection, is being notified.

Only authorized vessels can enter the bay, said Baye, “All other water craft are strictly prohibited from entering the bay in accordance with the port authority.”

The intrusion into Akumal’s turtle sanctuary comes at a time when, two months into the turtle nesting season (May-October), a major reduction in nests, from 913 in 2015 to only 342 so far this season, is reported by the State Secretary of Ecology and Environment (SEMA) for the Xcacel-Xcacelito area.

Turtle populations along the Riviera Maya have long attracted tourist snorkelers and divers, and are an asset to the area’s economy worth protecting, say authorities.

 

Bill Gates fund aims to end

dengue, zika, threat in Q. Roo

Good news this month was the arrival of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation agent in Quintana Roo with a plan to end the ability of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito to transmit dengue, chikungunya and zika along the Riviera Maya.

Jorge Osorio, the representative, was accompanied by several colleagues to discuss the project with state health officials and agree on a plan to implement the program that could show results within a year. Osorio said it was a “courtesy visit” with authorities and an opportunity to locate potential sites or the project work areas.

The process involves the large-scale exposure of mosquitoes to a naturally-occurring bacterium known as “wolfpack”. Once exposed, the subsequent larvae of mosquitoes the following year are no longer able to spread the viruses, although they will still bite humans, he said.

Osorio explained a need to survey the existing medical infrastructure and a historical analysis of zika cases that have already occurred before implementing the program, which has been successful in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and Colombia.

While a virus-impotent mosquito will still bite humans, it is interesting to note just which humans they prefer to bite and why.

According to research by Spanish dermatologists and researchers  in Madrid, mosquitoes prefer type “O” blood. The mosquito is also attracted by carbon dioxide exhalations of pregnant and/or overweight people whose conditions increase CO2. And finally, mosquitoes favor perspiration indicators whose odor identifies the source as a blood bearing mammal ripe for feasting.

Commerce Corner

WeRWater pool service, supply

relocates outside the main gate

After four years of operation in a Centro location across from the Omni Hotel and Capt. Rick’s Sportfishing, WeRWater pool service and supply company has moved outside the main gate in the space formerly occupied by the Subway sandwich shop, just south of the gasoline station.

As the only local purveyor dedicated to supplying lines of pool supplies, accessories and services in Puerto Aventuras, the company operated by partners Lucy Wedge and Leliet Duschkin also has a full-time professional pool maintenance technician available to tackle pool problems.

One immediate customer benefit of the new location is ample parking space and ease of loading supplies into vehicles.

Residents “tired of lifting water bottles and agonizing over late or missed water deliveries,” say the owners, “can also consider the option of installing affordable point-of-use Purikor osmosis purifying systems that deliver potable water from the tap.” WeRWater is the local distributor for Purikor and the system for homes and condos is very affordable, the owners say.

Among WeRWater’s other practical supplies are citronella candles that help keep mosquitoes at bay in a time when just one local mosquito specie can deliver dengue fever, chikungunya and the feared zika virus.

Wedge and Duschkin invite the residents of Puerto Aventuras, Paamul and Akumal to stop by for more information about their locally available  pool products, supplies and services at their new location. Information also available at 984-873-5283 and cel. 984-115-4588 and on their website available just by clicking on the WeRWater logo on this page.

 

 

Dolphin Discovery named a top

company fourth consecutive year

For the fourth consecutive year, the Dolphin Discovery family of dolphinariums offering entertainment and scientific research throughout the Caribbean área, including Puerto Aventuras, is listed as one of the top 30 Mexican companies in the 300- to-3000-employee category.

The 2016 edition of “Expansion” magazine, which rates companies every year, listed Dolphin Discovery as 17th of 75 companies in its category for this year. The magazine analyzes companies on standards of leadership, resonance, job satisfaction, communication, corporate social responsibility regarding climate, motivation, impartiality, compensation and other aspects of corporate operations and spirit.

Following the announcement, a Dolphin Discovery spokesperson said the company, which is the largest in the world employing dolphins for entertainment and conducting research for the care and conservation of the specie, also maintains high standards of quality in tourism services and employee relations and opportunity.

Dolphin Discovery is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, which has presented the company and its staff with numerous awards for the care and husbandry of the animals. (Click the Dolphin Discovery logo on this page for more corporate information).

UK’s  close vote to leave EU

could impact tourism here

 
The euro’s dive against the dollar as a result of the United Kingdom’s popular vote to leave the 28-nation European Union (soon to be 27) had immediate effect on world markets but could also show negative numbers of European and UK tourists along the Riviera Maya in the medium term, reports Dario Flota Ocampo, director of the area’s Tourism Promotion Trust.

He said the UK’s move is likely to negatively affect the purchasing power of Europeans compared to last year because European travel operators are considering using the dollar, meaning  higher travel costs to Mexico.

Ocampo said it’s too early to see a trend but expects one to evolve from ongoing sales for the next winter high season. There was an increase of 6 percent British tourists in the last three quarters, he noted, but said “we will have to wait” to see if the trend continues.     

The Roundup…

A new bakery appropriately called “The Sugar Shack” has opened in the former Mango’s along the Dolphin Walk in Centro. Owner and baker Christina Hurtubise notes the bakery is open Mondays through Saturdays offering cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, muffins and made-to-order treats…

Monthly recycling is Friday, July 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the skate park… 

Canada next? – Former Mexican President Vincente Fox, outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s rants, predicts that Canada would be next in line after Mexico for hard times as the result of Trump’s plan to abolish the NAFTA trade agreement between the three countries… Meanwhile, Canada says it will ease visa restrictions on Mexicans Dec. 1 provided Mexico’s administration can keep the floodgates closed…

Unrest in the medical community continued in June as local medical staff protested along with their national colleagues for better working conditions at IMSS hospitals

More jobs – Automaker BMW has begun expanding a new plant in San Luis Potosi for assembly of the BMW Series 3 model for sale in the Americas, joining other car makers taking advantage of Mexico’s growing industrial base, comparatively low wages and tariff-free access to the US market. The company plans to invest some $2.2 billion (USD) in the region through 2019…

And while Trump wants to build his now-famous wall between the US and Mexico, Texas builders are complaining over a lack of skilled Mexican labor it needs to build housing. They say many laborers and craftsmen are leaving the US for Mexico and not returning…

Sargassum is continuing to invade area beaches despite continued efforts at keeping the grassy deposits off beaches where it discourages tourism. The latest effort failed in Playa del Carmen’s Recodo Beach area where private initiative resulted in the placement of nine concrete structures that anchor mesh netting to capture the weed before it reaches the beaches. Various steps have also been taken along parts of PA’s waterfront and appear to be more successful…

Gunshots rang out – at Las Americas Mall in Playa del Carmen June 17 as three gunmen attempted to hold up personnel replenishing cash at ATM machines there. Three people were shot and injured by the bullets in the shootout, the police said, and were brought to the IMSS hospital for treatment. The gunmen ran off empty handed in a red car later discovered in the El Pedregal neighborhood…

Brick and mortar businesses on iconic 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen are complaining to authorities that the proliferation of street vendors is tainting the destination’s tourist image. They say some of the stands blocking strolling space are used as fronts for sale of drugs and alcohol and otherwise harassing passers-by…

Volunteerism has helped Quintana Roo place 6th in the world in keeping beaches clean, reports the local Ocean Conservancy group. Some 8,000 volunteers participated in beach clean-ups during 2015, an increase prompted by continued environmental education, according to the group…

A dozen hotels and homes occupied and run by alleged squatters along part of the Tulum beach were emptied of their belongings without notice by an army of more than 100 men acting on a court order. Squatters said, however, they were not shown the court order or notified in advance or given the chance to negotiate with those who claim ownership of the land…

Modern LED traffic lights with video cameras are being placed along Avenidas Juarez, 115, Constituents, CTM, Colosio, 125 and 10th. The LED lights use 80 percent less electricity, providing savings to the municipality. In all, the new lights will be at 23 intersections, nine of them modernized with GPS to help traffic move better and safer, say authorities.

The term”hot popcorn” was carried to an extreme June 12 when a short circuit in the popcorn machine at the Cinemex Theater in the Centro Maya Plaza spurted flames that ignited nearby flammables, forcing some 40 patrons to evacuate the smoke-filled premises. It was reportedly the second time in a year the machine caused a fire, leaving nearby merchants to urge civil agencies to investigate claims of ongoing building code irregularities…

At least there is talk in official circles about widening and making improvements to Highway 307 from Cancun to Tulum. The state’s Secretary of Infrastructure and Transportation says there hasn’t been funding for improvements in the last five years since the overpass was built in Playa del Carmen. The agency says rights of way have already been established along that road, an expense that would not need to be funded…

Mexico’s mobile phone rates are among the lowest in Latin America since the Pena Nieto administration’s telecommunications reforms were implemented in 2013. Since then, reports the Secretariat of Transportation and Communications, prices have dropped 23 percent, fed by the elimination of domestic and long distance rates to North and South America… 

 

Missionaries detained for trying

to baptize kids without consent

  Four missionaries of the Mormon Church were arrested and detained in a Chihuahua State town recently after trying to baptize children without parental consent.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported the men attempted to baptize three brothers from 9 to 11 years old after luring them to the church on the promise of free food.

When the men asked the brothers to change into baptismal clothing, the boys became frightened and ran home to tell their parents. Their father, Estrada Ruiz, contacted police after hearing the boys’ story and police placed the men under arrest.

The local church there, also known as Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, admitted the men clearly failed to communicate with local church leaders about the baptisms of children, which require parental approval. The church told the father the men were to be removed from the area.

There are several Mormon missions reportedly operating in the Mayan Riviera, including one in the Puerto Aventuras poblado that offers children English-language studies.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule beginning in May is the third week of the month for production at month’s end. Thank you.

The end – Previous edition below

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