Heated debate has ensued with the release of a video showing local Mexican woman, Laura Alicia Caldero, 26 being arrested and hauled away after she was found sunbathing on a private beach reserved for tourists.
According to the woman, she was sitting under a palm tree on Mamitas Beach in Playa del Carmen when armed cops forcibly removed her.
According to a report via the UK’s dailymail, friends of the woman told that guards were preventing locals from going onto the sandy stretch, which is located in the tourist area of Quintana Roo in eastern Mexico.
Told friend Marc Paez Chacon, 27: ‘We told the guards you were not allowed to privatize the beach and went and sat under the shade of a palm tree.
‘But then they suddenly turned up and told us that we had to pay for the use of the palm tree.
‘We thought it was a joke, but when we refused police turned up.
‘They told us we would have to pay a fine and move on, but Laura refused and ended up being arrested.’
The beach is noted for being popular among tourists from Europe and the United States, and the video footage of the young woman’s arrest has caused widespread outrage.
Told the arrested woman whilst being arrested: ‘They took me because I was sitting under palm tree,’
‘The palm tree is apparently not for the public although it was a public beach.’
Someone off camera then asks her where she is, to which she replies: ‘In Mamitas, I was under a palm tree.’
Online commentators included Gabriel Hernandez have since opined: ‘Our beaches are for Yankees and Europeans, get used to it.’
And another named Leviathan added: ‘According to the law, you can’t privatize a beach. She should issue a complaint.’
Underneath Pedro had added: ‘An opportunist who rents palm trees there probably called the police.’
Added Adriana Salez Hernandez: ‘Had she been a foreign tourist, they wouldn’t have touched her.’
Police confirmed the arrest of the young woman, who was with three male friends.
While they had all opted to pay a 1,600-peso fine ($105 USD), Caldero refused, and was then arrested.
Juan Carlos Pereira Escudero, secretary of the Playa del Carmen Council has since denied that Caldero was taken off the beach because she refused to pay for the shade from sitting under a palm tree.
Instead he told that the young woman ‘assaulted a group of private guards’.