Cirque du Soleil in Nuevo Vallarta has locals on high alert

Residents claim that the land is being graded to create flooding into their neighborhoods by the Ameca River and forcing them to flee their homes.

January 10, 2017
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The construction of a theme park for Cirque du Soleil is underway in Nuevo Vallarta – a project in partnership with Vidanta Group and Mayan Palace, with an investment of $16 billion pesos – has the residents of Jarretaderas on high alert, who fear being forced to sell their homes or land or be evicted.

The residents with a large population of Chiapas families, remember how the hotel group Vidanta seized entire streets in Nuevo Vallarta, located in a federal zone, and of lands bordering the Ameca River, which divides Jalisco and Nayarit. While Vidanta and Cirque du Soleil maintain all actions are legal and have city and state issues licenses to proceed.

Residents claim that the land is being graded to create flooding into their neighborhoods by the Ameca River and forcing them to flee their homes. Stating Vidanta’s strategy is to surround the village and flood it to force its inhabitants to sell their houses and lands, and thus take over the area located in front of the Bay and the Ameca River, where the Island of Birds is located, which already has under its control.

According to environmentalists, residents of Jarretaderas could experience what happened in the town of Corral del Risco, in Punta de Mita, where fishermen were evacuated and threatened by state agents over 20 years ago, forcing residents to flee for the development of Punta de Mita.

Vidanta group is offering money to the owners of the farms and has already acquired some of strategic location, but the fear is that those who do not sell will be forced out by government or Vidanta’s plan to flood the community using the Ameca River.

Last November, the governor of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, announced the investment of $16 billion pesos in the theme park and predicted that it will generate between 5,000 and 10,000 thousand jobs.

Since publication of this article, Vidanta Group has reached out to Vallarta Daily through their legal department in the perceived attempt to intimidate the media. Vidanta Group claims they have not done anything illegal and maintain licenses for the work performed. Our article in no way reports any illegal activity, or suggests anything illegal is taking place. This report is on the fear of the local community as expressed by the people whose lives are impacted by the development. This story is about them, not any company. Furthermore, PVDN is a U.S. based media outlet and is not guided by Mexican law in its reporting, the Mexican laws that Vidanta attempted to intimidate our publication with. Our hope is that this project launches with great success and is beneficial to the community bringing the area more jobs and strengthening the economy of the residents, without intimidating them or forcing them from their homes and the communities they have built. Our job as the media, and freedom of the press, is to follow this story and to hold all parties accountable for their actions. In the end, we hope everyone involved has the best intentions for the community, because we will be watching and reporting. 

Source: La Jornada San Luis

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