Couple Arrested On Tourist Beach In Mexico For Not Buying From Beach Bar
Shocking footage shows the moment police descended on two beach-goers in Mexico because they had not bought any products from a local beach club.
The couple were enjoying an afternoon sunbathing on Mamitas Beach, in the tourist resort of Playa del Carmen in the south-eastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, when the incident took place.
Police could be seen physically handling the man and woman, who attempted to fight back by pushing off the officers.
You can watch the scene unfold here:
Police reportedly arrested the couple after receiving complaints from the beach club of Playa Mamitas – an establishment that offers its customers restrooms, showers and a kids’ pool, as well as 300 deck chairs and 100 beach umbrellas available to rented.
According to local media, Playa Mamitas claims it has exclusive rights to the stretch of beach on which the couple were sunbathing. Though they were sitting on the ground, the club apparently reported them to tourist police officers for not buying any products from its establishment.
The tourist officers are responsible for keeping public order in holiday hotspots. They typically spend their time patrolling the streets and beachfronts in an effort to keep the peace, and to prevent illegal traders from selling their products to tourists.
According to reports, the woman in the video, identified as Asenet N., was handcuffed during the altercation.
After seeing the footage, some social media users argued the beach is actually federal property, meaning people can enjoy it for free.
In the video, one woman can be heard shouting in Spanish:
The beach is [a] public [space].
According to Mexican law, areas 20 metres from the coast are considered federal property in the country. While an individual or company can buy land in such zones, they are not allowed to ban access to it.
The officers involved reportedly threatened the couple while forcing them off the beach, and also issued warnings to other beachgoers who filmed the incident.
The young woman involved claimed she was left bleeding after her arrest.
A number of tourists have expressed contempt towards Playa Mamitas, with TripAdvisor reviews urging people to stay away from the area.
One review, written in January this year, reads:
[T]his corrupt beach club has consistently violated federal law by blocking locals from using the beaches. I highly recommend that tourists consider a more ethical beach club!
Another comment, written yesterday, February 16, reads:
Besides being one of the most expensive beach clubs in Playa, they are also getting a terrible reputation for having people arrested for being on the public beach in front of their space.
They are placing their beds and umbrellas all the way to the water’s edge with the purpose of not allowibg [sic] tourists to have a spot on the beach, then having the policia arrest those that try. Avoid this beach club!
Witnesses to the altercation on the beach described the police’s behaviour as being ‘over the top’. The local authorities are yet to comment on the matter.
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