viernes, marzo 17, 2006

The Big Bad Change

Cerro del Vigía proceeds at full blast with the destruction of what the native Zihuatanejo community still considers its ecological zone. It appears that any legal impediments (and I use the term "legal" very loosely since this is arguably the biggest land theft scam and act of corruption by public officials across the political spectrum in the history of Zihuatanejo) were overcome for the time being since heavy equipment can be seen operating there daily. I believe this was one of the stupidest developments ever permitted here and certainly the most treasonous act ever perpetrated by local public officials, obviously with help and proper persuasion from higher-ups and other "influentials".
The Monte Cristo development between Puerto Mío and Playa La Majahua is obviously hot on the propaganda trail, trying to appeal to the Blasting new roads at Playa Contramarpseudo-ecologists with flowery images and sounds and feel-good concepts. One has only to take a look at blasted out fragile hills surrounding Playa Contramar and their view-blocking stone wall they have built along the Carretera Escénica La Majahua to know that preserving ecology is the farthest thing from their minds and has nothing to do with what is happening there.
And now a new concern is the quiet plan to develop Las Salinas lagoon, a lagoon we would rather save and preserve as the last natural area adjacent to downtown, a place where mangroves and birds and green spaces should be protected for future generations. But first we have to fix the pollution problem.
And we aren't ever going to be able to get a handle on the pollution problem unless we have a moratorium on new construction and rationally regulate land use in favor of restoring the health of the bay and the ecosystem of the surrounding hillsides. Otherwise the bay will become a sludgepot in a few years and the denuded hillsides will be so ugly that no one will want to come here anyway.
These may be the final few years that many of our regular visitors will still wish vacation here. Already too many of our former repeat vacationers have stopped coming here altogether. But it appears that they must not be the most desirable market, since we continue doing everything to drive them away in favor of the investors in megaprojects.
Though local officials have certainly been complicit in worsening the situation, there is also pressure from state and federal officials who have their own special interests to look after. The revival of the development at Playa La Majahua came on the heels of the release of former Presidente Salinas' brother, Raúl, from prison. He was allegedly one of the original investors. The road at La Majahua is the only place I have ever seen a black jaguar (often mistakenly called a black panther) in the wild. Unfortunately with the development there and the lack of corriders for wildlife allowing them to cross beneath the coastal highway I doubt anyone will ever see one there again.
But don't it always go to show that you don't know what you've got till it's gone...
(Photo courtesy of Roberto! Robertson)