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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Playa’s tourist police chief murdered in cold blood

Could area be realizing ex-pats’ worst fears?
Posted 09/11/11 by Pelican Staff from peress ereports

Playa del Carmen Mayor Filiberto Martinez Mendes has admitted there is a security problem in the wake of last week’s cold-blooded murder of Tourist Police Chief Mario Gomez Frias in a hail of bullets shot through his cruiser, presumed to be a narco intimidation killing. His bodyguard,  also in the cruiser, was injured.
The mayor said in a press conference that the community is confronting security issues, underscoring a prospect that snowbirds have been hoping would spare the beautiful and relatively peaceful Mayan Riviera,  a tourist and second-home mecca .
The murder follows an attempted assassination on July 31 of Playa’s Municipal Police Director Angel Rodolfo Campos, who received a bullet in the shoulder . (See Briefly Said below).
Witnesses told news outlets they heard at least seven shots in the 6 a.m. attack last week, while others opined it appeared to be an ambush as several gunmen  fired at close range from both sides of the car while it was stopped.
Quintana Roo state has experienced increasing levels of drug related violence, including murders in recent months. Playa pere reported saying they started getting threats after four drug dealers were arrested recently in the tourist zone.
The feared cartel Los Zetas controls most organized crime activities in Cancun and Quintana Roo, Mexican authorities believe.
These unfortunate events may add to the chagrin of worried business owners (see story below) if fears of violence already keeping potential home buyers and tourists out of other Mexico areas vist the Mayan Riviera and suffer the resultant negative publicity.
On the positive side, the Pelican has received reports that intimidation is not stopping development progress as a Sears store has opened up at Las Americas Mall and Costco is reportedly looking at nearby land for an outlet of its own, which could reduce the need for frequent trips to bustling but comparatively more violent Cancun.

Marina association to meet Sept. 30
Frank responses convey ‘problems in Paradise’

Posted 9/10/11 by Pelican staff
    As the extraordinary assembly of the marina condo association prepares for a Sept. 20 convocation, responses are trickling in to a plea by letter writer and businesswoman Marlayna Miller of Sabor! Restaurant for ideas to improve the business climate as a few businesses seek physical improvements of their locations to that end.
Among requests to be considered by the assembly, the Pelican is told, is one from the MikamaleRestaurant to expand the size of its patio; one from Art Crepe to cover its patio to protect patrons from inclement and/or hot weather and a request from an shop owner in B-4C who wants to remove a garden boulder, among other items to be considered.
Responses to the Miller request from several writers who wished to remain anonymous  may not have been plentiful but were insightful considering that they did not cling to the common responses of a down economy and cartel violence a thousand miles away from the Mayan Riviera as the only problems considered to be stifling business.
The high points of responses include other potential impediments to an improved business climate in PA to the possibility that PA is in direct competition with real estate and busiess in Playa del Carmen. “Playa del Carmen is priding more competition in the real estate market than I think  local agents are willing to admit,”  says one respondent pointing to the popularity of the blossoming “Italian” district north of
Constitution Avenue.
PA’s restaurants come in for some negative observations: They include 1) too many mediocre restaurants for the customer base, 2) too many of those restaurants are adopting a “bar” atmosphere, 3)  Use of frozen products rather than fresh add to the perception of mediocrity 4) prices too high for the quality of the food served, 5) a need to build and better market repeat local business vs. tourist patronage, 6) the better restaurants need a signature dish that attracts customers, 7) too many restaurants for the customer base.
There also was comment that PA is designed as a gated community, which is how most residents want it, a fact that unfortunately seems to somewhat preclude a potential invasion of customers for the businesses who would like a more open atmosphere that unfortunately would add to traffic and noise and aggravate the resident base.
One respondent touched on Dolphin Discovery’s recent move to a new home and its practice of busing patrons in and out before they have a chance to wander into the Marina Centro to try the restaurants and retail outlets.
It was also suggested that the Marina business community needs to create a polling and marketing committee to study these observations and, like the Serenity Prayer advises, help the business community “accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”


Briefly Noted…

From staff, contributors and published reports
MORE ROAD BLOCKS with Army help were being considered by Quintana Roo in early August following the July 31 assassination attempts on safety officials in Chetumal and Playa del Carmen where unknown attackers put 15 bullets in a car driven by Angel Rodolfo Campos, director of  municipal police of Playa del Carmen. He was shot in the shoulder. His wife escaped unharmed. The incident took place in the La Palmas area of Playa del Carmen near Avenida 150. Campos was reported recovering in the hospital while officials said not to read too much into this isolated (?) incident…TULUM EXTORTION CRITICIZED – The Citizen Participation Committee in Tulum called an impromptu press conference to criticize transit authority and police personnel for entrenched practices of extorting foreign motorists and giving a bad image leading to reduced tourism…DENGUE FEVER cases were reported up in the Cozumel area. Between July 28 and August 11, cases rose from 20 to 32 in just two weeks…DEAD BODY, unidentified, hands and feet bound and showing evidence of torture was discovered behind the Cancun International Airport. The local press had it as the 43d such murder in what is being termed a Cancun War between cartels…PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS such as anxiety and general behavioral disorders among Q. Roo students rose 10 percent last year. The announcement is made by Sandy Robaldino Aguilar of the Comprehensive Mental Health Center in Cancun as schools open for the new academic year…A NEW MILITARY SITE for

training the “best of the best” amphibious assault teams will be developed on Cozumel Island on a municipal site loaned to the military. The island is described by the military as a “strategic geographical asset”  ideally suited for amphibious training…HURRICANE PREDICTION – PA will not get hit with a landfall hurricane this season,based on the purely unscientific notion that it would be unfair to those Aventurans who live on the U.S. East Coast in summer and have already been hit by a hurricane, Irene in this case. But if anything, Mother Nature is as fickle as a millionaire’s trophy wife, and could decide to hit the Yucatan too…A Tulum hotel caretaker was shot five times on Highway 307 between Tulum and Playa del Carmen and later identified by officials as coming from  poor family, a non-drinker and was not a drug addict. He was shot five times, twice in the head…

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