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Beach Vendors Provoke Jurisdiction Debate

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 15 July, 2011

(Acapulco, ElSur 13 July) Acapulco’s director of Public Roads, José Luis Flores Vinalay, told the press that enforcing the prohibition against the beach vendors is not a job that falls to the municipality of Acapulco. “Because the beaches are in a federal zone,” he said, “the organization responsible for the beach vendros is Profepa.” Profepa is the special federal prosecutor for protection of the environment. The city official did admit that two specific vendors are “tolerated” in the area of the large flag pole across from the main entrance to Parque Papagayo (as they are handicapped), and that during vacation periods, two inspectors are posted there to prevent other vendors from having access to the sidewalk.

The local representative of Profepa, Joel Tacuba García, is said to be meeting with the city’s Director of Public Roads this week to coordinate a plan concerning this high summer vacation season.

Flores Vinalay was aware, of course, that sidewalk congestion from unlicensed and unregulated vendors is far less of a bother than the swarms of them on the beach. He said that he has posted inspectors at the main entrance streets to the beach, to turn away vendors as they arrive. The vendors, naturally, know that they must now enter the beaches by the less known access points; however, once they are on the beach, they can walk up and down it, from Icacos to Caletilla, to their hearts’ content, as the City feels it has no jurisdiction over them.

Just as city inspectors try to close off vendors’ access to the beach, they seek to prevent jugglers and vendors from blocking streets at red lights and at areas of tourist activity like La Quebrada and La Condesa. From the visible effects of this activity, it appears that there are far more jugglers and vendors than there are inspectors.