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You know ... this sounds strangely familiar ...

May 20, 2007
Today's New York Times contains a pretty fascinating article, titled "Who Controls Paradise" that details the ongoing battles between wealthy developers, two of Mexico’s most powerful families, and a large swath of federally protected land that also houses a 'playground for the super-rich':
Since Mr. Goldsmith’s death in 1997, Mr. Marcaccini and his wife, Alix, the daughter of Mr. Goldsmith, have managed the late patriarch’s most prized asset: Cuixmala, a 2,000-acre private estate with several villas on the Pacific that at various times housed Mr. Goldsmith’s three families, mistresses and high-powered visitors including Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

These days, though, there’s trouble brewing on Cuixmala, which is nestled inside the 32,473-acre Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve, a rolling expanse of federally protected coastal land.

In an effort to expand tourism beyond destinations like Cancún and Puerto Vallarta, Mexican officials recently authorized the development of two resorts in the area. The most controversial project, called Marina Careyes — also referred to as Careyitos — is backed by Roberto Hernández, the powerful Mexican banker and developer who sold his financial services firm to Citigroup six years ago for $12.5 billion...

The result is a pitched battle over land rights between Mr. Goldsmith’s heirs and two of the country’s most powerful families — a clash that sheds light on the fault lines between traditional luxury resort developers who favor golf courses, swimming pools and spas, and a newer breed of conservationist-entrepreneurs who champion eco-resorts where guests hike and canoe for recreation.

Click here for the rest. It is a fascinating read, and a lot of this article hits close to home.

See also: Big Changes For "Tucson's Beach" from KOLD.

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