The battle for Tauro beach, security guards just watch as bathers enjoy uninterrupted

Bathers enjoying Tauro beach sands © .:. Timon 2017

“If an Anfi watchman can not guarantee the safety of Tauro beach and prevent access, they must hire more. Even if they have to put fifteen,” these were the words of Mogán Councilman Mencey Navarro yesterday as he repeated requests for the beach concessionaire for this cove to report to the police the presence of bathers who do not respect the fences, as reported in Spanish language daily La Provincia.

Navarro said that he has already explained to the representatives of this company that having the concession from the General Directorate of Coastal Sustainability to regenerate the beach, and exploit seasonal services, makes them responsible for any damages or injuries that the works cause to people, as well as the activities authorised in this space.

According to the councillor of Town Planning and second deputy mayor, “if there is no public disorder or breach in the municipal ordinance of the coast, such as someone having a fire or barbecue, then the Local Police will not act.”

Navarro added that although the coastal authorities, known as the Costas, halted the works following complaints filed by the Guardia Civil´s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA), warning that the construction was not in accordance with legality, facts now under investigation by the Court of Instruction Of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, and the fact that following this procedure the Canary Islands director of Coastal Demarcation, José María Hernández, was dismissed and a process initiated to revoke the concession, despite all this, Anfi Group remains responsible for safety on the beach.

#RemoveTheFences Tauro Beach © .:. Timon 2017

Mogán Mayor Onalia Bueno, held a meeting in June with the Deputy Director of Maritime Terrestrial Public Domain , Josefa Solernou, ostensibly to try to find a solution for reopening this piece of coastline. At this meeting, the councillor raised the possibility of opening the beach in a precautionary manner, with the commitment of the promoter and the Town Council to take charge of security and seasonal services, a proposal that was rejected due to the legal situation in which the project finds itself.

Anfi Group, who were originally awarded the concession, yesterday denounced their “defenselessness” in the situation faced with their inability to protect the work of Anfi Tauro. The tourism and timeshare firm, in a statement, lamented the absolute negligence of the Guardia Civil, who they say have been doing nothing to avoid the occupation of the beach by bathers. The company continued by saying that if incessant uncontrolled entry of tourists and residents has become a problem in July, then the month of August could see a real avalanche, as happened last Easter .

Sources from the company insisted that they are doing everything in their power to ensure the safety of tourists. They added that they have been doubling private security for months to prevent anyone from entering the area where the work is still unfinished, and said that a few weeks ago they had to replace 200 meters of fencing because it was stolen.

Nevertheless, the security guards themselves appear to have no power to remove bathers. In fact one security guard to whom we spoke, and who wants to remain anonymous, said that his bosses had given specific instructions just to report anyone who enters the beach area, but that they were to take no physical action themselves.  “All we can do is watch and report”

It is very hard to know exactly what laws might be broken by those who choose to use the beach, although it is subject to an order maintaining its closure until investigations are concluded.

It was in 2015 when the Anfi group won the concession from the Ministry of the Environment to occupy 11,200 square meters of maritime public domain land so as to “regenerate” the beach at Tauro. The company dumped 70,000 tons of sand it brought from the Sahara, claiming to have invested several million euros in the project. No sooner had they completed the initial operation when the beach was put under investigation by the Guardia Civill due to discrepancies discovered in the permits to start the work, and the 3,811m2 of lands that the promoter had pledged to contribute to the project, which it turns out they had not yet been able to prove rights or ownership over. Several lines of investigation remain open, and though the beach is officially closed, more and more people are using it on a daily basis, unhindered by fences or hired security.

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