Land protest staged on Mexico beach

TENACATITA BEACH, Mexico, Jan. 3 (UPI) — Protesters were allowed Monday onto a beach on Mexico’s Pacific coast that has been sealed off by armed guards for months.

Jalisco state police took over Tenacatita beach in August after a judge ruled that 50 families were illegally occupying land belonging to businessman Jose Maria Andres Villalobos, who wants to build a luxury resort there, the Guadalajara Reporter said.

An attempt by the families and their supporters to enter the beach in December ended violently. Jalisco Gov. Emilio Gonzalez says the security presence is needed and the conflict should be settled in the courts.

This time, members of the Resbalsito farm commune called in state legislators Gabriel Ponce and Felipe Hernandez to lead a peaceful entry.

Guards let the group in Monday after searching everyone, videotaping them and withholding their identifications. Federal Congressman Caro Cabrera called the search “Israeli- or Soviet-like.”

Many of the families evicted from their homes have land titles they say are legitimate and have been endorsed by the Mexican president.

Last week, the national Human Rights Commission said it would investigate the treatment of the former inhabitants, who complained of police brutality during the eviction.

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