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October, 2017

New Residentes Permanentes?

DREAMWORKS THEME PARK CHARACTERS  are reportedly in line to become permanent residents of Solidaridad . Permits have reportedly been approved for  construction of an indoor  Dreamworks Animation theme park in Punta Maroma, about 20 miles north of Puerto Aventuras.  The 70-year master plan is known as Amikoo, (friend, in Mayan).

Colonos allays security fears,
 says PA a ‘safest’ community

By Staff
Allegations of deteriorating security in Puerto Aventuras resort were challenged last week by Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon, who overesees the community’s security program.

“I can assure all that we are living in one of the safest places on the Riviera Maya,” Rincon said as he released a 3-year incident comparison in a message to residents. “The security company and our systems are working.”

In 2015, there were 18 thefts from residences and none from businesses during the first eight months.  In 2016, there were 16 residential thefts and four at businesses in the same time span. This year, 14 thefts were reported at homes and five at businesses from January-August.

Rincon reported that several incidents were solved and several others involved “breach of trust committed by people who were known by the victims.”

The general manager could not present comparisons of violent crimes against persons because there weren’t any. “There are some problems with some businesses, with boats and between neighbors but, in general, the personal and property protection is working better than previous years,” Rincon said.

The recent accusation by the Fideicomiso – the developer – that Colonos security has faltered under current Colonos leadership, has apparently been misconstrued by some residents to mean there has been a spike in crime.

That isn’t the case or the issue, Rincon inferred. The complaint by the Fideicomiso stems instead from different by-law interpretations and opinions involving main-gate access policy, protection of Colonos members (associates) and other non-criminal business considerations.

Letters to the editor in the last issue of the Pelican indicated general satisfaction with and support for the current security of the entire community while simultaneously reacting to fears of what the future could hold if the community adopted a more liberal stance on access.

Rincon also gave official notice that a request by the Fideicomiso for a Special Assembly to consider ousting the Colonos board chairman and the general manager will instead be on the agenda of the regular General Assembly in December.

(See immediate previous editions for background information on this issue.) 


Marina withdraws from HOA;
Colonos says it was not told

By Staff
The Puerto Aventuras Marina has opted out of the community homeowners’ association (Colonos) in apparent fallout linked to a main-gate access disagreement between PA Trustee (Fideicomiso) Roman Rivera Torres, who is a marina owner, and the Colonos administration.

Responding to a Colonos notice last week refuting Rivera’s claims (see above) of inadequate security practices by the Colonos, Rivera revealed that the “…marina does not form part of the HOA anymore.”

Asked about this and what effect it has on the Colonos treasury, Colonos GM Armando Rincon said the Colonos was not informed the marina had withdrawn itself from the association.

The fact is, he said, the marina “…has not been paying its fees since January.” He said the annual marina fee was 335,000 pesos ($18,848 USD). “On the other hand,” he added, “we have stopped the Colonos gardening service in the marina area.”

Rivera, who is also president of the non-voting Colonos Vigilance Committee, said the marina has hired its own security, which solved the last three burglaries from boats, storage areas and houses. “I offered a reward, we found the burglar, we took him to the authorities and he is now serving time in Playa. We recovered all articles stolen from boats, houses and storage,” Rivera said.

“I was able to do this through the new security that I was obliged to hire,” since the marina is no longer in the HOA, he explained. It was all done independent of Colonos security, he said

Meanwhile, Rincon also said the fate of the unspent $200,000 USD special appropriation for main gate improvements approved at last year’s Assembly will be decided at this year’s December Assembly agenda.

The developer, who owns the main gate and cedes its operation to the Colonos under an annual contract, has told the Colonos he will resume control of the gate when the current contract ends.

The Mail Bag…

Fear loss of main gate control

Dear Editor:
Our family moved to PA in 2003, attracted by the excellent school, marina and quality of life.  We have purchased three properties from developer Roman Rivera Torres, all delivered perfectly. We believed our relationship to be solid.

Last November, the marina notified us, as owners of a marine service business operating out of the marina, of marina refurbishment plans.  We supported the idea as the marina was clearly falling into disrepair.  Soon after, our company, Fat Cat Catamarans and Sailing Tours, received a new marina fee based on inaccurate calculations involving sales tax, understated commissions to agencies that sell to and transport our clients, inflated passenger numbers and no accounting for investment. The marina wanted 20% of our GROSS profit.  Had we agreed, our fee increase would have been 800% from the previous year.

Catamaran waiting at the dock. (Staff File Photo)

Our, and other affected companies, attempted to negotiate. We reluctantly engaged lawyers who told us the huge increases were illegal. Revised proposals were promised by the marina but never materialized, only letters threatening to ban guests, chain off the marina, ban vans etc. Since January, we pay our monthly marina fees to the courts  based on the December 2016 payment. Currently, more than 2 million pesos are deposited.  The developer is fully aware of this. The allegation that we are not paying is untrue.

The developer pressured the Colonos into blocking our guests illegally at the main gate on March 29, including letters to guests stating that we were operating illegally.  This is untrue, as a letter from the Port Captain confirms our permits.

On May 2, agents from the General Prosecutor (PGR) illegally impounded boats from our group before our lawyers could stop them.  Once boats are sealed, the task of applying to the courts to disprove the allegations is arduous and costly. Marina management claimed it had no relationship with us and we were operating illegally, despite our having invoices for marina fees and contracts dating back to 2003!  The boats remain impounded. In a meeting at the Omni with marina residents, the developer, who is an owner of the marina, noted his intention to oust boat owners involved. We are even banned from the Omni!

The intimidation continues. The resignations of the Colonos president and administrator is also being sought by the developer, not because they do a bad job (quite the contrary) but because the developer needs gate control to stop our guests from entering, which the Colonos refuses to do.

If gate operations revert to the developer, as is being threatened, we will put our properties up for sale. We never signed up for a dictatorship.

Signed/Anthony and Arlene Heckendorn/ owners of Fat Cat Tours

(Ed. Note: The issues of gate control and resignations of Colonos officials will reportedly be on the December General Assembly agenda, opening some of the issues to decisions by voters.) 

 Seeks cure for HOA “deadbeats”

Dear Editor:

This is a plea for help. Which of my fellow PA Citizens have found a way to successfully deal with HOA dues deadbeats? We’re searching for a Mexican Lawyer who is successfully stamping out these losers in PA.

Our HOA has tolerated more than seven years of such a deadbeat in our Fatima Bay complex. My HOA’s Vigilance Committee says that nothing can be done –which is exactly what they’ve accomplished–despite the fact that the deadbeat issue has been on the agenda of every annual HOA meeting we’ve had!  Can you please help us?

Signed/John Moore

Many feel safe here

Dear Editor

I come to Puerto Aventuras from Canada each winter for four months and it saddens me when I read the Pelican Free Press on how things are said to be changing for the worse.

Many Canadians, Americans and Europeans feel very safe here and I pray to God that things will be sorted out for the better for the sake of all people who have an interest in the future of Puerto Aventuras.

Signed/Bernard Longman

(Ed.Note: Mr. Longman teaches Tai Chi on the beach  here during high season.)


Israelis interested in Mexico
 Central America aid

FAIR SHAKE ON TRADE ends first visit of a sitting prime minister, in this case, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto last month.

By Staff
Israel has joined Mexico and the United States in attempting to develop political stability and infrastructure in Central America, targeting Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in effort to stem the tides of immigration through Mexico to the US.

The announcement was made by Mexican President Pena Nieto in the wake of a meeting in Mexico City with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pena Nieto welcomed Israel’s interest, noting that country’s successes in helping spur investment and infrastructure development projects in Africa.

The two leaders also worked to strengthen financial ties between the two countries by agreeing to update their 17-yar-old free-trade agreement to grow trade between the two nations. The visit was the first to Mexico by a sitting Israeli prime minister.


Netflix ‘location scout’ murdered;
NY Times notes Q. Roo crime rise

DRUG VIOLENCE claimed innocent victim in location scout for Netflix series.

By Staff
Netflix scout Carlos Munoz Portal, 37, a father of two and veteran employee of the 4-year run of the Netflix series “Narcos,” was shot to death in a town near the Hidalgo border, the state with the nation’s highest homicide rate.

Investigators said his bullet-riddled body was found in his car on a secluded highway. They said it appeared there had been an intense chase after Munoz was spotted taking photographs of a location for the “Narcos” series.

The investigators suggested local narcos may have been spooked by the sight of Munoz taking photographs of what they perceice to be their territory.

Quintana Roo makes NY Times

And a feature story in the Sept. 17 New York Times concerning Mexico’s growing narco-war homicide rate and its effect on tourist destinations mentioned Quintana Roo.

In particular, it cited the tourist meccas of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Tulum, noting that the lesser but similar violence that has brought Acapulco tourism to its knees is now threatening iconic Los Cabos on the West Coast and, to a lesser degree so far, the Mayan Riviera on the East Coast.

The story’s take is that cartels have an easy time recruiting young men  with, no apparent future in their impoverished villages, as cartel henchmen.They arm them with cars, guns and drugs to sell locally and, when necessary, require them to assassinate the competition and risk their own untimely deaths.

Here in Solidarity, Playa’s La Quinta (5th Ave.) was again the scene of daytime violence in front of hundreds of tourists near 10th St. as a gunman fired three shots into a victim then tried to escape on a motorcycle. But he was captured by police who later said the captive may have provided information leading to three other executions and two botched assassinations in Playa Centro. Narco/gang executions in Solidaridad now number 44 for the year.

Make no bones about it…


HALLOWEEN is just around the corner at Latitude 20, says the skeleton crew above. (Staff File Photo)…

…while owner Jim Stubbs says  the popular, annual ghost-fest will be held October 28 this year, on the Saturday prior to Halloween.  “We will be open from 6 p.m. for a great night of music and dancing with our usual Friday-night band Exilianos. There will be prizes for fancy dress, great food and drinks, as well as many friends to reunite with after the summer.”

Trivial Pursuits coming up at 4 p.m. Sundays, October 1, 15 and 29 at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the poblado Community Center. Owner Jim Stubbs welcomes new players to join in the fun.

October dates of note: In Mexico:  Columbus Day, Oct. 12: – In the U.S.  – Columbus Day, Oct. 9; Cuban missile crisis began Oct. 14, 1962; US invaded Grenada, Oct. 25, 1983; Halloween, Oct. 31 –   In Canada: Thanksgiving, Columbus and Leif Ericson Day, Oct. 9; United Nations Day, Oct. 24 and Halloween, Oct. 31.


The Round Up…

Dolphin Discovery, Colegio and Puerto Aventurans   joined groups throughout Solidaridad in collecting needed items like shovels and hard hats to assist search and rescue operations in the twin earthquakes occurring 11 days apart and involving Mexico City where more than 300 died.

Money donations to help supply the stricken areas with other needs were also accepted…Several Playa firefighters recently trained in rescue operations were immediately transported to Mexico City to help…. Eight tons of food was collected in the municipality for shipment to the stricken areas…

Akumal tourism faded since the government temporarily banned swimming with turtles on Sept. 1. However, swimming with turtles will resume Oct. 1, 2017, with an expected resumption of tourism numbers for the popular vacation spot…

A female employee was killed and two other workers injured on the last day of August when part of a new hotel under construction at Xcaret collapsed from alleged negligent welding…

Another hit-and-run fatality was recorded Sept. 12 near the Catalonia Hotel when a man attempting to cross 1the highway was struck by a car whose driver stopped long enough to retrieve a license plate dislodged by the impact and then scurry off. The police filter north of Puerto Aventuras was activated but police said the driver could have escaped into Puerto Aventuras or gone back to Tulum…

And another pedestrian died after being struck by a small truck while trying to cross the highway near Sam’s Club on Sept. 16 and another person killed by a combi while trying to cross the highway near the Pepsi Bottling facility…

North Korea’s ambassador to Mexico was given 72 hours to leave Mexico on Sept. 7 in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear testing and obsession for becoming a nuclear power. .Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said its action represents the nation’s absolute rejection of Pyongyang’s threatening nuclear ambitions…

Tourist zone sewage overflow is also responsible for spoiling the image of Centro Playa del Carmen as a viable tourist destination, claims local environmental group leaders. They say the inability of the water concessionaire, Aguakan, to control sewage overflow is almost as guilty of threatening the tourism industry as is violent criminal activity…

Fatal tropical storm swept through Mexico’s Pacific Coast states in early September causing at least four deaths and bringing floods and property damage along the Baja Peninsula, including the iconic Los Cabos tourist mecca. Meanwhile, the Yucatan Peninsula escaped the onslaught of hurricanes Harvey, Katia, Irma and Jose. Irma devastated Florida but only caused undercurrents along the Mexican Caribbean coast that were mildly disruptive to the tourist marine industry…

President Pena Nieto acknowledged Mexico’s violent crime rate could reach new highs in this, his fifth year in the presidency, during his state of the union address. But he also gave special notice to gains in education and free-market reforms….

Playa’s La Quinta (5th Ave.) was again the scene of daytime violence in front of many tourists as a gunman fired three shots into a victim then tried to escape on a motorcycle but was captured by police. The target was seriously wounded and was taken to the hospital by an ambulance crew. Narco executions in Solidaridad now number 44 for the year… Then a similar occurrence at 3 p.m. Sept. 26 when a man was shot in the back at a business at the junction of the avenue and 14th St. The shooter from Cancun was captured by police and the victim taken to a hospital with a punctured lung…

Drone-mounted cameras began taking photos of Juarez Avenue in Playa, from 5th to 30th Avenues to help municipal planners study ways of improving safe passage of pedestrians and bikers through the heavy automobile traffic there…

The proposed casino to be built on 5th Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets on the site of the former Tequila Barrel lounge has evidently lost its first gamble. It was fined for removing without permission what is believed to be century-old tree to make way for th casino….

Earthquake rebuilding funds of $905 million USD was proposed by the Mexican Federal Government for the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca where 100 were killed and 200 million people affected by the Sept. 7 quake. Then, 11 days later, came the devastating Mexico City area quake that crumbled more than two dozen buildings and caused more than 300 deaths, requiring reconsideration of more rescue and rebuilding appropriations…

A conjunctivitis outbreak in Playa has spurred calls for businesses to allow infected workers some time off to help stem the contagion. The infection, also called “pink eye,” is easily spread between people. It can be viral or bacterial with symptoms such as itching, pink appearance of the eye, pain, burning and scratchy eyes. Most cases do not require treatment but can be shortened by antibiotics. The outbreak has been such that some schools were closed and the local jail scrubbed clean…

The rules we live by …. or not!

(Page 7 of 22 Continued))


Managing the homeowners’ association

ARTICLE 17.- The Association shall be managed and headed by a President or a Board of Directors comprisal by at least three members designated by the General Assembly of associates among its membership.

ARTICLE 18.– The Board of Directors shall be formed by a President, a Secretary, Treasurer and by the full-time members designated by the Assembly of Associates. They will serve a two-year term which may be renewed unless the Assembly revokes it.

ARTICLE 19.- The Board of Directors shall receive any resignations from its members and is empowered to fill any temporary vacancy o, even permanent ones until the next Associates’ Assembly is gathered to ratify o, modify said designation.

ARTICLE 20.– The Board of Directors shall meet legally with a quorum of the majority of the members forming it and its resolutions shall be taken by a majority of votes of those present at the time. In case of a tie, the person presiding over that meeting shall have a quality vote. Sessions of the Board shall be presided over by its President and in his/her absence by anyone acting as such. The Board of Directors must meet at least every month at The Association’s Address on the date and at the time previously agreed by the members of the same.

ARTICI.E 21.–  Invitations and notices or any other communication from the Board of  Directors to the associates shall only be valid when signed by the President and the Secretary, or by the alternate members in their absence.

ARTICLE 22.– Either the President or the Board of Directors will have the power to carry out administrative actions and for suits and collections in the terms of Article Two thousand eight hundred and ten of the Civil Code for the State of Quintana Roo, and two thousand five hundred-and fifty four of the Civil Code for the Federal District, in the understanding that they will have full powers and shall also have those special ones that require a special clause according to the law. They shall act with full representation and on behalf of and defense of the Association in ah kinds of judicial, administrative or other matters, and they will also be empowered to undersign and issue all kinds of credit titles, the same that must be signed jointly by two of its members. They may also grant and revoke these powers. (To be continued)

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our weekly high-season schedule is 10 a.m. on Mondays and by the 25th of each month during the summer schedule May-October. Thank you. Disclaimer: The Pelican Free Press is not responsible for content and/or claims made on sponsor web sites, logos or social media links.MAIL BAG POLICY – Limit comment to 300 words per writer , or 5 paragraphs of 60 words each. We reserve the right to edit for comprehension and to avoid personal, inaccurate or offensive material. Thank you.

The end – Previous edition below

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