Corruption in the Los Cabos area of Mexico’s Baja California Sur is a bigger problem than some investors might think. According to a recent press release from the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja (ASUPMATOMA), government officials in Baja California Sur have seized hundreds of acres of beach front land from a group of investors and conservationists even though the claims being presented have been proven to be falsified.
The press release states that ASUPMATOMA has provided evidence that the land titles submitted by a Sinoloa company on July 27, 2007 were forged by a man who was recorded legally dead several months prior. State officials still proceeded to clear the land last week, actually reversing the charges against René Pinal, who is the main owner.
This land was being used as a sanctuary for sea turtles, and was open to the public to visit them in their natural habitat. However, it seems the government has other ideas for this valuable land: probably something more along the lines of hotels and resorts, which provide taxes to the government.
Corruption can be common in developing countries, adding extra risk to foreign investments, but this situation in Baja California Sur is more the exception than the rule. If these unsubstantiated seizures become more commonplace, then investors will have reason to think twice before investing in Mexico, but for now it seems to be a rare event.
ASUPMATOMA is still campaigning to fight the seizure. If you want more information about them or their cause, visit www.savetheseaturtles.org.