The Associated Press: Mexico shuts Cancun beach, alleges sand was stolen
MEXICO CITY — Surprised tourists found their little piece of Cancun beach paradise ringed by crime-scene tape and gun-toting sailors on Thursday.
Environmental enforcement officers backed by Mexican navy personnel closed off hundreds of feet (dozens of meters) of powder-white coastline in front of a hotel accused of illegally accumulating sand on its beach.
Mexico spent $19 million to replace Cancun beaches washed away by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. But much of the sand pumped from the sea floor has since washed away, leading some property owners to build breakwaters in a bid to retain sand. The practice often merely shifts sand loss to beaches below the breakwaters.