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LatinNews Daily - 20 May 2019

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In brief: Mexico

* Mexican authorities are working to clear the country’s Caribbean beaches of sargassum, a type of macroalgae, as the algae’s increased presence has a negative impact on the local economy. Mara Lezama, the mayor of Benito Juárez, the municipality which includes the beach resort of Cancún in the state of Quintana Roo, led a clean-up operation on 12 Cancún beaches involving over 1,000 municipal workers on 18 May. Lezama told the local press that the municipality has removed 3,545 cubic metres of the algae over the past seven months. The negative impact of the algae on tourism has made it an issue of national importance, with the navy being put in charge of a clean-up operation on the coast of Quintana Roo earlier this month, while the federal senate is due to debate a bill which would define the arrival of sargassum as an emergency and natural disaster, which would open up further funds to fight the presence of the algae.