Cleanup team move into La Caleta beach after 'squatters' left quietly

2020/07/14 20:43:04 Written by Canarian Weekly Tenerife

Adeje Council and the Canarian Government moved a cleanup team into the Diego Hernández beach in La Caleta today, to evict the long-term illegal campers, and to reclaim and clean up the land around the beach, which is an officially protected zone.

The administrations have been working together to plan today’s eviction, and are looking ahead to continuing to protect the area from future unwanted visitors.

The Tenerife Cabildo was at the beach at 7am this morning to oversee the operation with Adeje council, the regional government and the Coastal authorities, as well as a national government representative, to ensure that the 105 people 'living' there left quietly, or had already gone.

Cabildo president Pedro Martín, accompanied by Isabel Garcia, said “we are in an officially protected natural zone, which, disgracefully, has been occupied all too often by people who don’t just arrive to spend a day at the beach, but to live here, and set up places to eat, drink, and sleep, without any sanitation, but now we are here to cleanup and reclaim the land." 
He said “the majority of those who had been camping and living here illegally were foreign nationals, and a few Spanish nationals too, leaving behind their rubbish in a natural zone, destroying part of one of the island’s natural treasures."

Adeje’s councillor for ecological transition, Manuel Luis Méndez Martín, commented that “at last we have begun to reclaim this important natural zone. The cleanup will take a few weeks but we have started well today. We want to remind the public that these spaces are for everyone and we all need to respect them equally, for their ecological value but also so that everyone can safely enjoy this spot."

García commented that the operation had been planned for a while, “this is not simply a cleanup of La Caleta; this is also about introducing a system of regular patrolling and vigilance of the zone to make sure this doesn’t happen again."

She added that the area had been declared a zone of scientific interest, and one of environmental interest for Tenerife. She said the ‘campers’ had been notified in advance, as per the law, to give them a chance to leave the area, as in some cases what they had built were their regular homes. They had been notified 10 days before today’s action.