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MAY, 2016



Fugitive Bowen makes court

appearance wearing shackles

By Staff
Alleged Puerto Aventuras fugitive and scammer George. W. Bowen was manacled and shackled when he was led into a Colorado court last week for a brief moment. He waived a preliminary hearing to set his arraignment on multiple fraud charges in that state. He did not bother to glance at the gallery where some of the people he is accused of defrauding were sitting, reported an eyewitness.

Court records there confirmed that at the time of his arrest, Bowen was operating a Mexican  company  out of an office and terrace at the Bamboo Plaza along Puerto Aventuras’ grand marina. The company was known as ITC -International Travel Club – and that Bowen identified himself to clients as Mexican national William St. Regis de la Cruz.

He and a partner, who falsely claimed kinship with a municipal politician, had recently established the business office in Puerto Aventuras before Bowen was arrested several weeks ago on a fugitive warrant. Bowen reportedly had fake identification including the sacrosanct Mexican voting card, the last word in bona fide identification in Mexico.

Full of Bull (and typos)

Bowen’s ITC website contains odiferous piles of verbal bull dung aimed at making vulnerable consumers believe Bowen was a highly successful entrepreneur and developer and that ITC was a subsidiary of prominent Mexican companies and favored by  banks with international reach. To wit:

“William St. Regis De La Cruz, (Will), has been an instrumental developer of luxury resorts, plush hotels and high-end gated residential communities since 1990. He is well recognized for his attention to detail and dedication to his clientele,” the site says. Left out of this glowing resume was the fact that Bowen is an ex-convict and fugitive convicted of mail fraud. Some of his claims of success reportedly occurred while he was incarcerated.

It continues: “In 2005 Will founded Vida Solar International, which has become the go-to company in Latin America for renewable energy development. Last year the company acquired a breath taking (sic) tract of land in the mountains of Belize, in order to build the first of its kind, Balinese style, echo-friendly (sic) sustainable energy Community; The Reserve at Valley Stream. This property will be an ultra-luxury gated residential/fractional ownership development that is scheduled to commence pre-development sales in April of this year.”  Since Bowen is in a Colorado jail, that was not likely to happen. In this fictional rant, Bowen then attempts to associates himself with the design of Puerto Aventuras, as though he had something to do with it. to wit:

“As you can see from the quality master plan her (sic) at Puerto Aventura’s (sic) or the enchanting Regis Luxury Hotel Group, Will’s commitment to superior quality, value, and service are a beacon to patrons seeking an elite travel, real estate or investment experience like never before.  Over the past five years our private membership has realized a 117% return on investment in tax fee (sic) dollars via our Vida Development Company’s Smart Investor Program (SIP),” the site says.

Bowen and his partner, identified by PA developer Roman Rivera Torres as Carlos Gongora, audaciously  attempted to intimidate Rivera when, Rivera said, “I approached them in a friendly way and warned them not to commit fraud within the boundaries of Puerto Aventuras.”

He said they replied they were “experts at selling air.”  They inferred that Puerto Aventuras provided the window dressing of credibility because of its success, infrastructure and Rivera’s “good name.” They told Rivera, “If we sit at the Omni lobby bar or in a rented apartment in Porto Bello, the credibility comes automatically. This being a free world, we are going to stay.”

Wrong. “When people like this show up or actions like these take place, we, united,  should close doors to them and their actions,” Rivera said.

Steady stream of clients

Some people bought into the Bowen artifice, as one self-confessed victim of the scam wrote to the Pelican Free Press: “I was one of the people scammed by George William Bowen, aka William St. Regis de le Cruz. He had quite a network of operatives working for him, some of whom had to be in the know.

“We stayed in Puerto Aventuras as his ‘guests’ for a week, so got to know him and his operatives over dinner and drinks a couple of times. All I know is he scammed us and a lot of other people. A steady stream of ‘clients’ were being dropped off there throughout the week, ( Bowen’s web site noted a corporate office address at “Porto Bello Grand Marina, Suite 310 Puerto Aventuras, Quintana Roo, 77733, Mexico”), “I would somehow like to get the word out,” this victim said.

The Pelican staff had observed gleaming white vans dropping off ‘clients’ at the Bamboo terrace who were then seated around tables placed between a laundromat, a dental office and a row of docked yachts in the nearby sun-drenched marina trying to create a dreamy illusion of obtainable ease and affluent lifestyle.

There, Bowen ostentatiously made his pitch to clients while trying to appear as flamboyant as the bogus entrepreneur he described himself to be on ITC’s grossly distorted website. Some other business owners in the plaza told the Pelican they were fed up with Bowen’s  arrogant behavior and the antics of the ITC operatives in their midst.

While the ITC web site remained online last week to ensnare more gullible consumers, ITC’s Bamboo Plaza business location in Puerto Aventuras was shut down tight. Furniture that had been used outdoors to welcome and impress clients was gone while everything inside the two-level office was gathered in one area, exuding the grim mood of things gone seriously awry.  The Pelican was told that a victim of the Colorado scams has notified the FBI of Bowen’s Mexican operation in the event US citizens have been victimized there.

Bowen’s arraignment has reportedly been scheduled for 9 a.m. May 4, 2016. The fugitive was taken into custody by Mexican and US enforcement agents shortly after his wanted poster mysteriously appeared in Puerto Aventuras.

About the movie: The Hoover family — a man (Greg Kinnear), his wife (Toni Collette), an uncle (Steve Carell), a brother (Paul Dano) and a grandfather (Alan Arkin) — puts the fun back in dysfunctional by piling into a VW bus and heading to California to support a daughter (Abigail Breslin) in her bid to win the Little Miss Sunshine Contest. The sanity of everyone involved is stretched to the limit as the group’s quirks cause epic problems as they travel along their interstate route….

Trivial pursuits Sunday, May 8, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy…

Cap’t Rick  Sportsfishing will again host several wounded warriors to participate as guests at the upcoming 12th annual Dave Harris Memorial fishing tournament on May 21.

Art exhibition of i-pad and oil paintings by local artist Adam James Butcher will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 14 at the Puerto Aventuras Art and Information Center at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten. Ten percent of sales for the evening will be donated to the award-winning youth sailing club. Coming soon to the center is a book containing the works of the late Michel Brown who was for many years a resident here showing his work to strollers along the popular Dolphin Walk on Sundays, a practice by Brown and other artists that is missed…

While dates are uncertain,  also coming up soon is the opening of La Europea wine and liquor store under construction adjacent to the main-gate entrance and behind the Pemex gasoline station; updating of  main gate landscaping, lighting and traffic flow; location and design of a potential doggie park. Also, a hoped-for removal by CFE of an electrical wire over an area of the Phase 4 canal that is preventing access of larger boats to the docks of people who purchased a lot there; the start of condo projects at the Phase 4 entrance and creation of more much-needed golf-cart parking in Centro…



Nature Watch…

PA’s Dolphin Discovery announces

birth of 2 healthy manatee calves

Human care extends life, stalls extinction

By Dolphin Discovery
The community of Puerto Aventuras has once again witnessed the birth of two manatees, the first one on March 20th from Dorothy and Pablo, the second on April 10th from Julieta. Pablo is the resident male manatee in Puerto Aventuras and was transferred here from the Aquarium of Veracruz as part of the “interchange of the genetic diversity program “ between the aquarium and Dolphin Discovery.

The calves, which soon will be named, include a female and male, each weighing around 33 pounds. During the first three weeks of life, the newborns were breast-fed every 30 minutes, rapidly gaining weight and consistently growing until they weigh as much as their family members and other companions of the lagoon. The natural lagoon of Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Aventuras hosts three adult manatees, the aforementioned Julieta, Dorothy and Pablo, plus two other calves, Conchis and Clau, that were  born in 2015.

The birth of a manatee is an important achievement since they are an endangered species. Eight out of the combined 16 manatees that live at various Dolphin Discovery dolphinariums were born in captivity while the rest have been rescued.

Manatees are herbivores and the mothers, such as Julieta and Dorothy, eat up to 132 pounds of lettuce a day when breast-feeding. This means they eat two tons of lettuce every month in addition to a varied diet of fruits and vegetables. The gestation period  of manatees exceeds a year, and they are close relatives of the pachyderms. Births are natural and exit tail first 90% of the time. Reproduction of manatees, like other species, is synonymous with well-being and tranquility.

With proper care, manatees can achieve a lifespan of 50 to 60 years in the care of humans, unlike the more rapid death rate of manatees in the wild.  Experts say that survival of manatees in their wild habitat is threatened by the pressure of human activity among other reasons,  as on the crowded rivers of Florida where manatees are constantly injured by propeller blades of boats passing overhead. The manatee could be extinct in a matter of several decades.

The newborn manatees can be viewed along the dolphin walk at Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras alongside sea lions and dolphins. Other dolphinariums from the group that have manatees are in Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Dreams Hotel of Puerto Aventuras.


Hope springs eternal for end

to extortion near Cancun airport

By Staff
This high season, the Pelican has published a considerable number of complaints from drivers alleging they were extorted by police while on their way to the airport in rental cars. The gist of their allegations was that police near the airport target rental cars with visible baggage and occupants anxious to catch a flight and thus, ripe for paying a bribe to avoid delay. Most writers claimed they were not even speeding. “Doesn’t anybody care?” was a question posed by one of the writers.

Well, somebody does. His name is Thomas Polanco Valencia and he is president of the Car Leasing Association in Quintana Roo, an organization that wants to stop the shakedown of motorists. The association says there are more than 20,000 leased cars on the state’s highways, giving the police a hefty pool to choose from.

Polanco says few of those who say they were stopped without cause and paid a bribe bothered to file formal complaints because they don’t have the time before their flight and don’t want the police to retain their documents. Those who wrote to the Pelican did so, evidently, because they didn’t know where else to get attention. Polanco’s association has taken note of that and has prepared a simple 3-question survey asking if drivers were satisfied with the leasing service and whether they were “inconvenienced” by the police.

The association says it has already received correspondence from the Playa del Carmen police leadership expressing a desire to act on complaints of corruption. Despite the apparent  willingness on the part of the Cancun Directorate of Municipal Transit to act on complaints  however, “there are individuals that continue to commit these acts of corruption,” Valencia said. He added that the effort to reduce highway extortion is joined by the Cancun Hotel Association and Mexican Travel Association, who have produced a booklet of emergency and consul phone numbers to be distributed in the hotels.


Physician shortage in Q. Roo

means 665 patients per doctor

There are 1.5 million people in the state of Quintana Roo and 2,300 doctors, claims the state Ministry of Health. This translates, says the ministry, into 665 potential patients per doctor. The ratio is considered inadequate by the World Health Organization, which believes there should be three doctors for every 1,000 patients.

The National Institute of Health and Geography (INEGI) reports there are 259,000 doctors across the national health sector, with 38 percent of those in specialty fields as compared to general practitioners.

In that analysis, Quintana Roo is among the nine states nationwide that have a deficiency in specialists. The leading fields in this state are general and family medicine, obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. It is estimated that 15,000 patients a year in Q. Roo must travel to other states for more specialized medical care, many of those to Merida in Yucatan state.

Puerto Aventuras area house-call physician, Dra. Carolina Guzman, a general practitioner with a master’s degree in public health, concurs that there is a shortage of specialists in the state, but that the number now practicing has been sufficient enough to handle cases she has referred from the Puerto Aventuras area. “If there isn’t a specialist here or in Playa del Carmen, we can find one in Cancun who will come down here to Hospiten, IMSS or any clInic.” Or, she said, in a worst case scenario, they will send the patient to Cancun where many of the the needed specialists are located.


The Roundup…

More sargassum on way? A deal has been reached between residents of the Kantenha Lagoon and the Colonos to share costs of building a swinging gate at the entrance to the lagoon to keep sargassum out. Reportedly, the gate is designed to open and close with the tidal current, allowing sargassum to move out, but not in…

Mid-April blast killed 24 at a petrochemical plant in southeastern Mexico, while 13 of 19 people injured remained in serious condition at a hospital, state oil giant Pemex reported. The plant is located on the southern Gulf coast city of Coatzacoalcos…

Sears Holding Corp. reports it will close 78 K-Mart stores and 10 Sears stores in a bid to return profitability to the ailing company. While a list of stores to be closed has reportedly been compiled, it has not been released to the public as of this writing. There was no word whether the closings would affect Sears stores in Mexico, one of which is located in Plaza Las Americas Mall in Playa del Carmen…

Gruesome Akumal murder of a 36-year-old woman whose body was severed and placed in two suitcases has been identified by police as a Canadian citizen brutally killed in a crime of passion, according to press reports. The victim reportedly was living in the community of Akumal. The abandoned suitcases were discovered at a Playa del Carmen tourist van stop along the Tulum-Cancun Highway. As of this writing, official  identification was pending notification of family members living abroad. Police said  an ex-boyfriend of the victim is a suspect in the case…

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule is the last week of the previous month. Thank you.


The End – Previous editions below

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