Posted by: ecodestination | January 29, 2009

Red Alert: Ecocide in Xcacel-Xcacelito

A loggerhead turtle (photo by Wikimedia)

A loggerhead turtle (photo by Wikimedia)

Green turtles and loggerheads residing in the “marine turtles sanctuary” on the Riviera Maya’s Virgin Beaches are about to lose their home.

The Punta Carey complex and the Grupo Posadas, according to unofficial sources, have been destroying this protected habitat and effectively committing ecocide. What for? Why, so Grupo Posadas can build a tourist complex and make investors happy, of course!

Although the Grupo Posadas is currently wreaking eco havoc in an area adjacent to Xcacel-Xcacelito, ecologists say the turtles’ habitat and breeding will be affected and that the ecosystem will soon be lost.

But, you know, since the tourist complex will be sustainable, I guess all is A-ok! It’s odd, though, that those in charge of the construction are MIA. Meanwhile, the city, its people, and authorities are keeping their eyes and ears on the elections in Tulum. Manuel Barrero Gutiérrez, director of Tulum’s Urban Development, claims to have been ignorant about the Grupo Posadas project. On Wednesday, his personnel will be visiting the site to conduct the corresponding inspections, which require certain looking after the environment. If the project doesn’t meet the proper standards, it will be shut down.

The area comprises 90 acres of jungle, mangrove, coastal dune, beaches, cenotes, and coralline reefs. It’s the most important beach in Mexico for these turtles to nest; biologists venture out at night to help protect the eggs and young. The turtles come to Xcacel-Xcacelito in May through October.

The project was announced in 2006 and requires $ 26.7 million to develop. It will consist of 250 rooms throughout 370 acres. A development of similar magnitude and cause of ecocide is the Ho­tel Pa­raí­so Xca­cel del Gru­po Gon­zá­lez An­gu­lo.

Green female turtle nesting on the beach

Green female turtle nesting on the beach



  1. This is very is because of a picture of a sea turtle dead from a plactic bag that I finally GOT IT and now recycle and avoid plastic bags and even encourage others not to use them

  2. It is absolutely sad. Look at this:

  3. WHAT can be done to stop this?

    • I will shortly be posting an update. However, the consensus seems to be that those in charge of the ecocide DO NOT CARE about protests, and the Mex govt is basically ignoring the issue. So maybe shooting the development’s owners in the head might work. Just a suggestion. Or camping out in the area to prevent its destruction. Or both. Very unfortunately.

  4. […] you might have expected, not much has changed since I last posted about the ecocide alert by the Grupo Posadas at Xcacel-Xcacelito. Essentially, the turtles are going […]

  5. I feel sick… A few days ago, some Mexican friends took me to Xcacel, from Playa del Carmen where I was staying for a few weeks. I love the social life of Playa but loath the lack of planning to preserve the mangrove. (I call it Playa del Concrete) Xcacel was an incredible experience at an incredible place, an unspoiled beach with dunes and palm jungle and cenote. The beauty was extraordinary. When I arrived home to Wisconsin, I googled Xcacel to see if it really is a nature preserve. I am speechless to find that it has fallen prey to the rampant corruption and greed in Mexico by a few, and that it will soon be developed. As if the Maya Riviera needs anymore condos and hotels! The war on drugs does not hold a candle to the wholesale destruction of the environment going on in the “maya riviera”. But only the Mexican people can change it by educating themselves, organizing, and taking a stand to resist everyday corruption. It’s an uphill battle for sure. What can WE do?!

  6. Playa del Concrete? That sounds very depressing.
    What can WE do? It’s very exasperating. It’s hard to say. The corruption that runs the place is overpowering. I wish I had an answer.

  7. […] about the Xcacel-Xcacelito red alert, here, here, here, and […]

  8. boycott bigtime the riviera maya. or better yet shun a country. don’t travel to mexico. tourists mean money. money means greed and more development. people of the world don’t travel to méxico and don’t buy mexican products. that would hurt no?

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