Napa Valley in Mexico Protests Unfettered Development | Your money


MEXICO CITY (AP) – Defenders of Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe wine valley protested on Saturday against frenzied development they say threatens the region’s environment and agriculture.

On Saturday, federal officials announced they had halted a massive land clearing project that had razed semi-desert native vegetation on a hill to create a concert hall.

“Acting on public complaints, federal authorities this morning inspected and closed a property where they had attempted to set up a huge concert forum,” the Department of the Environment said in a press release.

Protesters from the For a True Valley group gathered nearby to demonstrate under the slogan “More vines, less looting”.

“This devastation of flora and fauna over more than 20 hectares (44 acres) in the Guadalupe Valley was carried out by APM Producciones,” the group said in a statement. “It is a project that does not show the slightest consideration for the environment.”

APM Producciones said in a statement that the project had all the necessary permits and only affected 4.4 hectares (9 acres). He said the final project would include building housing and planting trees and vines.

The company has claimed that a concert scheduled for the weekend will take place.

But the Environment Ministry said the developers did not have permits to change the land use of the property.

The area between Ensenada and the border town of Tijuana has become a victim of its own success as Mexico’s response to California’s precious Napa Valley. Tours of vineyards, hotels, luxury apartments and places of entertainment threaten the already scarce water, thin soil and relative calm of the region.

A little dustier and rougher around the edges than Napa Valley, the Baja California wine country has vineyards clustered along a main road known as Ruta del Vino.

The fast-growing wine mecca just two hours south of San Diego is home to trendy boutique hotels, an impressive food scene, and over 100 wineries.

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