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October 2014: Managing the monkeys


NOTICE: The Pelican Free Press will resume weekly publication in November for the duration of the high season. We invite readers planning a vacation to check our sponsors in the left column for rentals or services they might be looking for.

HAPPENING: Latitude 20 Restaurant will hold its annual Halloween Party Friday, October 31, from 7pm -10:30. There will be live music with Errol( The Entertainer ) Richards from Jamaica, and Theresa Lopez, plus a surprise performance. Peter, Danny and Isabel say all are welcome, young and old, costume or no costume. Be ready to dance and tap your feet to our Caribbean and Rock and Roll beat.

The opening of an historic photograph exhibition at the University of Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen, depicting the city’s humble beginnings and life in the 40s will be held Sept. 30. All are invited to view the 400 photos in the university’s auditorium.


Move on to save monkeys
inhabiting peninsula, PA


Agencies to conduct monkey census  

Researchers have come up with a hypothesis that the state of Quintana Roo has one of the highest populations of wild primates, a few of which have inhabited

the Puerto Aventuras resort over the past few years to the delight of residents there.

But, the hypothesis continues, there has been a 77 percent decline in the number of howler and spider-monkey species in the past 30 years placing them near the line of endangered species. Locals say spider families disappeared from the resort for several years following the 2005 hurricane and have only recently returned.

Now, two organizations, Maya Mono and the National Commission for knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio) say they will launch a coordinated effort to conduct a census locating the monkey species in this area of the nation in hopes of implementing programs for species recovery.

Rapid development of the coastal lands along the Caribbean is faulted for destroying much of the habitat and ecosystem. The monkeys live in trees that are destroyed in the name of progress, but, according to the organizations, poaching and illegal trade of the monkeys as pets are the biggest current threats. The census effort is expected to begin later this year.

On another front, it is being reported that of some 20 animal species in Central America, nine are on the endangered species list and others are considered “threatened”. Among those are the jaguar, tapir, toucan, macaw, manatee and queen conch, among others displaced by human trespass and development within the animal ecosystem, say authorities monitoring the situation.    

Mexico daylight saving
time Ends 10-26-2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014, 2:00:00 AM clocks are turned backward 1 hour to Sunday, October 26, 2014, 1:00:00 AM local standard time instead. Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Oct 26, 2014 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning.

Security adds direct line
to reach chief’s office

Paving projects under way

   Another phone number –984-802-9078 – for direct access to Security Chief Jesus Galdeano from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. has been added to the two regular numbers that are in operation 24/7. Those are 984-873-5128 and 984-873-5173.

In other Colonos news, the community’s road paving project continued during September and all work is expected to be completed by October 10, in time for the beginning of the high season. Paving took place from the main entrance gate to the skate park and the first 60 meters of the entrance lane of Bahia Yanten. The main gate paving, deemed the most complicated, was to be done with fast-drying concrete to accommodate the busy traffic there. Each section of paving was to be closed for three days drying time and was expected to take 15 days to completion.

The other projects were to require about 30 days each to completion using normal-drying concrete and were slated to end the road paving projects for this year.

Library planned for PA
Poblado by municipality

   Solidarity officials plan to build a library in the Puerto Aventuras delegation (Poblado) to be opened in 2015 and is asking for donations of books once the physical plant is ready to be occupied.

The National Council for Culture and the Arts is being asked to furnish the required furniture and equipment. An official said the task of finding a location for the venture is already under way with the help of Solidarity Mayor Mauricio Gongora Escalante and PA delegate Olivia Zamudio Escobar.

This will be the third such library in Solidaridad, adding to two existing libraries in Playa del Carmen, the seat of Solidaridad’s government. The facility will have electricity, bathrooms, water and air conditioning for the comfort and safety of library patrons.

Playa del Carmen’s name
on international police pact

   An international police pledge bearing Playa del Carmen’s name has been agreed to by the 22-nation conclave of Interpol, the world’s international police cooperative, meeting in September at the Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen.

The agreement is being called the “Declaration of Playa del Carmen” and among other points, supports creation of a new international profiling office with chemical acumen; a better system to monitor pharmaceuticals so they can’t be used to manufacture illegal drugs; improve international information exchange and in general to support national laws to combat organized crime.

No Terrorist Presence

In line with the Interpol parley, Q. Roo Gov. Roberto Borge Angulo denied press reports of terror personnel transiting the state from Belize on their way to the United States.

He said security has been tightened on major roads and in tourist areas in a cooperative effort by police and military units. He added that information exchange has been implemented by the peninsula states – Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche – closing ranks against crime.

Municipal mobile medical unit
begins Puerto Aventuras service

  A mobile medical unit offering free dental and general consultation services, nursing, nutrition and medicine was launched in September by the municipal administration of Mayor Mauricio Gongora Escalante.

The mayor said the mobile unit is equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment and is targeting residents of the Poblado and Puerto Maya who have limited access to local medical care. The Red Cross also maintains a small clinic and ambulance service in the Poblado.

“My administration’s priority is to fulfill its commitment to the people by providing health care to all the inhabitants of Puerto Aventuras without exception,” the mayor noted.

Calica fuel depot plan
awaits authority ruling

Puerto Morelos rejects project 3 times  

   Plans for a major fuel depot that were thrice rejected by Puerto Morelos in Benito Juarez (Cancun) are being advanced at Calica (Punta Venado) just a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras and a few miles south of Playa del Carmen.

Ships would use the existing docking facilities to unload liquid fuels, construct storage tanks and pipelines and also use trucks to haul the fuels elsewhere, such as jet fuel for the Cancun Airport. Ironically, Punta Venad0 lost a bid to Cancun to host the trans-peninsular train service terminal but is now being eyed by an industry Benito Juarez does not want, according to press reports.

While the train terminal had the potential to embellish the tourism industry on the Riviera Maya, the fuel depot harbors the prospect of an environmental disaster that could negatively affect tourism, according to a spokesman for CEMDA, the Centro Mexicana de Derecho Ambiental (Mexican Environmental Law Center).

Gerardo Valades Victorio of CEMDA said the proposed fuel depot’s environmental impact statement mandated by SEMARNAT, the nation’s environmental agency, was received by the federal agency on August 13. He said CEMDA, which is non-profit and non-governmental, is awaiting expert opinion on whether the project would pose an environmental threat to the tourist-dependent area before issuing a statement.

Reportedly, various types of fuel would be delivered there, stored in separate tanks and shipped by 40-inch pipelines four miles inland, then over the road to various points in the Yucatan.

On-again-off-again train
back on for Punta Venado

   The latest news on the trans-peninsular train plans is that federal officials are no longer considering an either-or terminal at Cancun or Punta Venado, but incorporating both places as terminals linking up with each other and Merida, Valladolid, Chichen Itza and inland points.

From the perspective of Playa del Carmen and Puerto Aventuras, this makes more sense for better transporting traveling tourists safely and comfortably around the pensinsula and particularly in view of the possible petrol terminal being planned for the port of Punta Venado.

Without having all the pertinent facts at hand, it seems on the surface to make more sense to haul petrol by rail than by multiple trucks along public roads as matters of safety and savings. Both these issues are developing and could change, so will continue to be reported as developments occur.

Like the lucha libre wrestlers of Mexico, there has evidently been a political battle going on between Cancun business interests and Riviera Maya to host the train terminal and, if the new thinking holds true, there will be no losers, only winners.


Mexico will lead the way
on pioneer dengue vaccine      

   Federal news welcomed by all populations of Mexico including snowbirds is the announcement of a vaccine to guard against dengue fever carried by the same mosquito that infects humans with the newer threat of “chikungunya.” The news comes as the Puerto Aventuras area increases its battle against mosquitoes until November when the puddle-forming rains and the threat subsides.

Federal health authorities have announced the vaccine will be available for use in Mexico in 2015, the first nation to use it. Mikel Arriola, director of the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks called this “a watershed” in the history of epidemiology (a branch of medicine dealing with broad issues of disease control).

He said Mexico’s position in the fight against dengue may elevate its standing in the World Health Organization and open the door to the organization’s $6 billion revolving fund because Mexico’s federal health commission is already a “functional authority” in the development and manufacture of vaccine.

President Pena Nieto calls
corruption ‘cultural weakness’        

   Snowbirds often speak of minor extortion incidents by police who stop them for speeding and “suggest” a payment in lieu of a ticket and court appearance. Others have talked of being cheated at Pemex gasoline stations and other similar incidents defined as “corruption.”

Well, President Enrique Pena Nieto has now called these practices, many of which reach in high places, a “weakness of cultural order” that is not exclusively Mexican. He wants to battle corrupt practices and policies by strengthening institutions to advance an ethical culture in Mexico.

He feels the private and public sectors need to join hands in assuming a “new attitude” and values in an effort to shape a new ethic.

Schools are an important venue in shaping a respect for ethics in the young, but, unfortunately, a recently released study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows Mexico at the top of the 34 member nations whose children spend less time at school and more time working. It puts them at high risk of disassociation with education and the labor market, notes the study. Sixty-three percent of Mexicans have only attained an education level lower than high school, the study said.

In other matters, Pena Nieto also inferred strained relations with the Texas government, calling Gov. Rick Perry’s use of the National Guard to patrol the border with Mexico “unpleasant” and “reprehensible.”


Briefly noted…

PETER METRICK of Latitude 20 Restaurant here in PA likes to tell folks that Mexico offers healthier living than the more northern climates. Proving his point was the news in September that the oldest person who ever lived is 127-year-old Leandra Baccera Lumbreras of Tamaulipas, Mexico… HURRICANE ABSENCE in the Riviera Maya is a blessing so far this year, but the Baja Peninsula in the west was battered by hurricane Odile to such a degree that it is requiring help from the federal government. In addition, PEMEX  is donating 2.5 million liters of petrol to keep machinery running for the clean-up and rebuilding process… THE ANNUAL JAZZ FESTIVAL in Playa del Carmen will be held Nov. 27-29…TWO TO THREE PROSTITUTES per day among 30 who are checked at the general hospital in Playa del Carmen show positive for syphilis or AIDS, reports the director of the disease control card program… 200 ADDED POLICE JOBS are open in Playa del Carmen where recruiting booths have been set up until Sept. 20 to give information to potential candidates who will be paid 5000 pesos every two weeks and get three months of training…ONE OF FOUR cases of familial neglect of the elderly in Solidaridad was in Puerto Aventuras, notes the municipal administration on the occasion of the “Day of the Elderly” held in August. It was noted that because of physical impairment, many overqualified older workers are relegated to packing bags in supermarkets…CALIFORNIA WAS PRAISED by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for the state’s showing of respect to legal and illegal immigrants and hoped the same could be true of other states as well…TULUM LOBSTER FISHERMEN are having a hard time of it, saying this season has been the worst in three decades because the catch is dwindling as well as the tourist market that can afford lobster…MAYAKOBA FAIRMONT hotel recently became the first company in Quintana Roo to receive the federal government’s Safe Industry Certification, complying with the federal government’s 41 official standards on employee safety and health…$32 MILLION IN COCAINE was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard off a tanker plying Caribbean waters…AN UNIDENTIFIED suspected drug dealer was found murdered on a street in Puerto Morelos Sept. 15. Police theorize a gun jammed, since shells were found, so the victim was bludgeoned to death…

SEVERAL MAJOR DRUG CARTELS are reportedly discussing an alliance to create a “cartel of cartels” operating out of 12 states that do not include Quintana Roo or Yucatan…ABOUT 500 VENDORS operating without permits around the Avenue 5 area have been caught this year and their products confiscated because they are hurting legitimate businesses by not paying their sales taxes… MEXICAN BARBIE DOLL  is on the way, says manufacturer Mattel. She’ll be wearing the traditional mariachi costume and wide-brimmed sombrero as she joins Mattel’s Dolls of the World…THREE ZETAS KILLED and 33 were wounded when Army and State Police entered a Los Zetas cartel weapons training camp in the Veracruz mountains of eastern Mexico in September and were met by a hail of bullets…THE TULUM AIRPORT isn’t happening and part of the reason may be that a $9 billion expansion of the Mexico City Airport has been announced by the Pena Nieto administration…A BANCOMER BRANCH OFFICE in playa del Carmen was broken into at the midnight hour when thieves punched  a hole in the wall, disconnected an alarm system and broke into several safes. Police believe it is the gang that has pulled three bank jobs in Cancun…


SOLIDARITY MAYOR Mauricio Escalante Gongora has received an award from the Mayors Mexico Magazine for  exemplary financial management in his administration…TEQUILA TRAVELS to 90 countries including Russia and China as Mexican exports of the popular drink increased 16 percent in the first six months of this year compared to 2013 when 149.1 million liters were shipped for a value of $996.9 million in 2013. This year’s shipments so far had a value of $568 million. Cheers!…POLICE SERVICE IMPROVING, reports the Pena Nieto Administration as complaints against police for violations of civil liberties are down 41.6 percent according to the National Human Rights Commission…TWO BOA CONSTRICTORS measuring three and four feet long were captured without incident in Playa del Carmen and Tulum an hour apart from each other…70 TUSCA BUSES operating in Solidaridad were subjected to safety inspections in September and those unfit for service removed from the streets…SUICIDE IN PARADISE – The National Health Information System says a study by the Center for Social and Gender Violence places the state of Quintana Roo among the highest in the rate of suicides. It is one of three leading causes of Q. Roo death in people 15-29 years old. A total of 144 suicides was reported in 2013 with males accounting for 83 percent and females 17 percent. The agencies cite a lack of qualified institutional personnel to treat the condition…U.S. TOURIST WAS HURT while paragliding from a boat in Cozumel when the rope broke, sending the tourist 20-feet down into the water. He was hospitalized with non life threatening injuries…STATEWIDE, some 25,000 volunteers have cleaned beaches of 75,000 kilos of rubbish…

The Mail Bag…

Seek Phase 4 security answers  

Dear Editor:
   Each issue of the Pelican Free Press is always a highlight for us. Thank you for the valuable service you provide to our community.On the issue of new Phase 4 restrictions (sadly and all too often, the few ruin it for the many), we have a couple of questions to which maybe someone knows the answers:

(1) Will the boats be restricted from accessing the Caleta? (2) Will all visitors (even pedestrians) to Phase 4 be prohibited or only those who ride bikes, golf carts, and cars? Is access of any kind now prohibited until some later date?

We noticed there is a detour around the security guard station for Phase 4; it is the side road off on the right (near the future holes of the golf course) that begins before the guard station, bypasses it, and comes back to the Phase 4 road farther away from the guard station. We’ve seen golf carts use this by-pass from time to time.

On past visits to the Caleta, we also noticed increased numbers of people from Barcelo coming to the Caleta and Phase 4 by walking over the rocks that separate P.A. from that private hotel. In our casual conversations with them, they confirmed they are Barcelo hotel guests. In the future, that may be a security issue for Phase 4 because trespassers to P.A. via the rocks have not gone through PA’s gates.

On past walks, we have also noticed that there have been cuts in the mesh gate fencing where 307 runs next to the construction gate for Phase 4. We’ve reported it to Security when we see it but it takes quite a while before it is repaired.

Signed/ Mary and Bernie Strojny

Ed: Note: The developer was clear that only motorized vehicles are prohibited until such time as controls are in place. Phase 4 remains private property until the infrastructure is turned over to the Colonos in about a year. The Pelican is not aware whether boat traffic can be prohibited by local or federal authorities along the federal zone.

Call for help answered

Dear Editor:
My husband and I recently purchased a condominium in Puerto Aventuras (PA). We told friends in PA we were looking for a translator and they suggested Gloria Contreras and that we could find her contact information in the Pelican Free Press.

We sent Gloria an email inquiring into her services and prices. She responded right away and even offered to pick us up from the airport and do some light shopping for us as we began the unpacking process. Although we declined those services, we were very impressed that she offered.

She helped us get a locksmith, open telephone and electric accounts and other tasks, was always on time and on budget. Having Gloria provide exemplary customer care made our transition much smoother.

Signed/ Beverly and Kevin Schrab

SAVE MONEY with eSun solar panels at your home or business. Click on the logo at left to learn how.
TRY PORTO BELLO for a deeded, no-fuss fractional buying and living experience
HOT EVENING? Take a cool walk to Jessie Gelato in Centro and taste the relief
SECURITY CAMERAS help guard your home when you are gone. Click on Mayan Security.
FISHING SEASON HERE: Click on Capt. Rick’s for sportfishing adventure
REPAIR LEAKS IN THE RAINY SEASON, click on Definitive Solutions for help.
LIBRARY HOURS  Mon-Fri from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. More than 15,000 English and Spanish books to choose from.
DANGER WET FLOOR? Don’t slip, don’t fall, give Innovative Floor Solutions a call. Click left.
REMEMBER Puerto Aventuras Catering for house parties, biz meetings or large weddings. Click logo at left.
PA’s LATITUDE 20 RESTAURANT preparing annual Halloween Party Oct. 30
WIDE SMILE – Visit our local dentist for comprehensive service. Click on the Smile logo
CHECK THIS OUT! WeRWater has a new website, pool products. Click logo at left
VILLAS AKALAN to rent close to the Riviera Maya’s prime beach at Tulum.
ALAN’S REPAIR for printers, computers, audio. Click his icon for full service list
“INTRODUCTION TO PAINTING” Every Thursday 5-9 PM, at the PA Info Center art gallery


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