False Claims to Undeveloped Land in Cabo San Lucas Reserved for Protecting Area's Endangered Sea Turtles Raise More Flags about Mexico's Crime and Corruption

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Earlier this month, Baja California Sur state officials claimed hundreds of acres of natural beachfront property in Cabo San Lucas, rightfully belonging to local businessman and longtime conservationist, René Pinal, along with his family and team of investors. Despite evidence of forged and altered land titles presented by the company claiming ownership over the land, Baja California Sur state officials proceeded to clear Pinal's land last week, while actually reversing his charges against him. (Case Number: LPZ/006/AES/2007) Pinal, who has been a well-respected environmental activist and businessman for over 18 years, has left the majority of his 2,000 acres of coastal land undeveloped in a conscientious effort to protect the region's endangered sea turtles, and in general, the natural environment of Cabo San Lucas' lands and beaches.

Mexico's tourism industry is the lifeline of its economy, so imagine what will happen to Cabo San Lucas and all of Mexico, for that matter, if people are scared to travel here?

Earlier this month, Baja California Sur state officials reclaimed hundreds of acres of natural beachfront property in Cabo San Lucas, rightfully belonging to local businessman and longtime conservationist, René Pinal, along with his family and team of investors.

Despite evidence of forged and altered land titles presented by the company claiming ownership over the land, Baja California Sur state officials proceeded to clear Pinal's land last week, while actually reversing his charges against him.

Pinal, who has been a well-respected environmental activist and businessman for over 18 years, has left the majority of his 2,000 acres of coastal land undeveloped in a conscientious effort to protect the region's endangered sea turtles, and in general, the natural environment of Cabo San Lucas' lands and beaches.

Nearly two decades ago, Pinal formed a local non-profit organization with a group of biologists and local residents, called the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja (ASUPMATOMA), to help rebuild populations of endangered marine sea turtles in the Sea of Cortez.

At his estate, which is now open to the public to tour the lands and interact with the sea turtles, ASUPMATOMA has already saved tens of thousands of baby sea turtles, and hundreds of thousands more of baby sea turtle hatchlings along the beach. In addition to the organization's local sea turtle conservation efforts, Pinal's natural lands protect more than 17 other species in the area, some which have also been marked endangered.

The biggest reasons for the shrinking sea turtle populations in the Sea of Cortez, Pinal explains, are rapid coastal development, pollution, beachfront lighting, and careless hunting of sea turtle hatchlings along Mexico's Pacific Coast.

"With the commercial development happening in Cabo San Lucas at such a rapid pace, mainly because of the growing tourism industry, it is everyone's public responsibility to do their part to keep our beaches safe and beautiful for the world to enjoy in this generation and many more to come," commented Pinal.

Since becoming a public media source two weeks ago, Pinal has been speaking out fervently about his case and urges the Mexico government to take action immediately to end the country's corrupt business and political rings, contributing to the escalating crime rates in Mexico.

Pinal commented, "Mexico's crime and corruption are serious problems that will have irrevocable consequences for the entire country, and the world, if we don't put an end to them." He continued, "Mexico's tourism industry is the lifeline of its economy, so imagine what will happen to Cabo San Lucas and all of Mexico, for that matter, if people are scared to travel here?"

About ASUPMATOMA
ASUPMATOMA, which stands for the Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja, is a non-profit organization founded by Sr. Rene Pinal, a prominent real estate investor and environmental activist in Cabo San Lucas, along with a local team of residents and biologists. For over 18 years, ASUPMATOMA has been protecting endangered sea turtle populations in the Sea of Cortez through the kind generosity and participation of its sponsors and volunteers, which include Dr. Scott Eckert at Hubb's Sea World Research Institute, Mexico National Institute of Fisheries represented by M.C. Laura Sarti, Jose Luis Sanchez Amezcua/The Baja News (Cabo San Lucas), the Westin Regina Hotel, and many others.

In addition to providing sea turtle conservation, research and educational programs, ASUPMATOMA is a committed worldwide advocate of the fight against irresponsible land development in Los Cabos, which is continuing to take its environmental toll on the region's natural habitat, beaches and surrounding communities. For more information about ASUPMATOMA, or to get involved, please visit http://www.savetheseaturtles.org

Press Contacts:
Rachel Neppes
619.231.9977 x306 (office)
619.405.3917 (cell)

Jack Berkman
619.231.9977 x303 (office)

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