Thursday, June 14, 2012

Beach access San Carlos, Panama

The governor's order isn't obeyed, by Eric Jackson

On May 8 Panama province Governor Mayin Correa ordered a developer's fence and modular sales office removed from the public beach at Playa Ensenada in San Carlos within one week. However, that order has been disobeyed by Mayor Víctor López, to whom it was directly given, and the Fontanella del Mar development to which the mayor improperly gave approval.

On the inland end, material has been disappearing from the fence. The developer is not in a good position to call the police about it. Meanwhile the foundation of that part of the fence closest to the water has been washing away. It does, after all, represent an illegal claim to a part of the beach below the high-water line. Panamanian law provides that from the water's edge to a line 30 meters above the high-water line beaches are public property which can't be privately owned and to which access can't be blocked.

Playa Ensenada has had fishing families living on and launching their fishing boats from the beach for longer than any living person can remember. The people who live there can't get title to their homes because they are on public property. But neither can a developer --- or some naive buyer who believes in the developer's claim of ownership --- assert ownership of the property.

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