Police Try To Break Up Barricade Of Public Road

Protest closed the road 3 months ago
BY: BARB DWYER

Early one morning last week the state police swooped down on a handful of protestors who had been blocking a public road round the clock in Todos Santos since October 29.

The protestors managed to shut down construction on a beach they had fished from for generations. The tourist hotel was being built by Tres Santos, a mega residential, farm, recreation, and hotel development that simply took out a permit to use that land, something the fishermen had neglected to do.

represion.jpgSo, with no good legal leg to stand on, the fishermen barricaded access to the beach. They built a very cozy lean-to that the men took turns sleeping in  by night and the women cooked meals in it and took refuge from the sun by day.

Dozens of heavily armed and heavily armored police showed up, along with an ominous looking empty bus that looked quite capable of hauling all the protestors off to somewhere else. But the police explained nobody had to be taken anywhere, that the fishermen were welcome to keep protesting, but the public road would have to be re-opened.

There has been bad blood between many of the locals and the American developers, which the developers have done nothing to patch up. Every stupidmove they make just loses them more support.

They promised the fishermen nice fish cleaning facilities would be built for them for compensation but that never happened. Then they promised they would build a desalinization plant so they would not be taking scarce water from the town, but that never happened. They also promised the fishermen could still use the beach in front of the hotel, but then the developers screwed up the beach by dumping boulders on it.

Each of these questionable decisions digs the Tres Santos people into a bigger public relations hole, but still they push on with the same attitude.

Those opposed to the development are not in line for any prizes for clear thinking either, as they are continually making claims to legal rights they simply do not have. A good lawyer might be a help, but given that the anti development people don’t seem to be in any mood to face their own mistakes nor listen to the cold hard facts of their legal status, it’s unclear if clarifications of their rights/limitations would do anything to diffuse this situation.

Stay tuned.