360 families living in danger in high-risk areas of Mazatlan


Since 2017 they were going to be relocated, but the resources did not arrive; now there are 70 irregular settlements, more than 30 in flood zones.

Mazatlan, Sinaloa. – The plan was to relocate in 2017 360 families living in latent danger due to being in high-risk areas of Mazatlan, with resources from the Risk Prevention Program of the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development ( SEDATU ), but the money never arrived, since all the federal support, 21 billion pesos, was destined to the restoration of the zone devastated by the earthquakes that affected eleven states of the center and south of the country, that year and the following.

Mazatlan was part of the 20 cities in the country that would receive these federal resources in an extraordinary way, to relocate families living in latent danger.

So said the then head of the Municipal Institute of Planning, Israel Victoria Lona, noting that Mazatlan no longer had more time to solve the problem of anarchic growth.

“Mazatlan is at the exact moment, at the precise moment, but it does not have more time, today it is time to start planning and solving this problem,” said the former director of the Implan.

However, after more than two years, the relocation of squatters has not occurred and the problem of invasions in high-risk areas continues to grow, given the complacency of the authorities and political and personal interests.

Out of 63 irregular settlements in 2017, eight more were added, and only this year the municipal authority has detected 18 invasions that, in the words of public safety officials, have been dissolved, most of them on the banks of the Jabalines stream and the Estero del Infiernillo.

The most recent case was registered on the margin of the Jabalines stream, between the colonies Salvador Allende and Bureaucrat, in a land fenced with barbed wire that delimits a property that is unknown to the owner or who put the posts. There were built at least seven houses of stick and cardboard, of which three remain built, without any authority to do anything about it.


This anarchic growth of the city has caused another more serious problem, since in the last 58 years, the regulating vessel of the Estero del Infiernillo decreased from 381 hectares to 35 by the filling of flood areas, according to a diagnosis made by members of the Colegio de Civil Engineers of Mazatlan, presented in the Sustainable Pluvial Drainage forum, organized by the State Congress last December.

Agricultural fields, lagoon and estuarine waters were absorbed by the urban sprawl from 1931 to date, this by those who invade the margins of the estuary to raise their house, but also by the authorities who have occupied spaces for urban development.

The filling of the estuary continues with the complacency of the authorities, as some irregular settlements in the mangrove area, such as the invasion of Juan Pablo II avenue and the Casa Redonda colony, have electricity and collective water intakes.

A study done by the Ecological Center of Mazatlan in 2016, concludes that the anarchic growth originated the strangulation of important ecosystems for the hydraulics and the ecological balance of Mazatlan.

The report highlights that 50 colonies of the port are settled on aquatic ecosystems or on the margins of estuaries, marshes, lagoons or natural hydrological basins, which do not have basic services and directly impact the flora and fauna of these bodies. water, when dumping waste, sewage and solid waste on them.

For its part, the Municipal Urban Development Plan warns that in recent years the Estero del Infiernillo has lost more than 60% of its entire basin by landfills.


The official figures of the colonies that are considered in red hot spots with risk of flooding, date from 2012 and 2013, when the Atlas of Risk and the Municipal Plan of Urban Development of Mazatlan was carried out, the latter derived from the National Plan of Development 2013-2018.

In these documents, the Jabalines stream is located in the vicinity of the Progreso colony, the Historical Center; the Juarez bridge, at the mouth of the Jabalines stream; the area bordering the Estero del Infiernillo; areas near Laguna El Camarón; Flamingos colonies, Villa Verde expansion, López Mateos, Villas del Estero colony, Villas de Jaraco, Ex Hacienda del Conchi; and finally, along the banks of the Arroyo Jabalines, El Fracción María Antonieta and Bosques del Arroyo; Bugambilias, Urías and Rinconada del Valle.

Later, colonies such as Pino Suárez, Madero, Azteca, Quinta Chapalita, Rafael Buelna and Casa Redonda would be added to the list.

And in general, the Municipal Contingency Plan shows that in Mazatlan there are 8,600 hectares susceptible to floods, 60,000 inhabitants of the population are affected and 289 colonies are at risk.

More recently, in 2016, the Implan announced that there were 63 irregular settlements in the port, of which 30 were settled in risk areas and 360 families lived in latent danger due to being in high-risk areas.

Since the beginning of 2018, the invasion in the zone of Juan Pablo II avenue has spread more and more.

The director of Housing and Land Tenure of the Municipality, Raúl Carvajal Tirado, reported for El Sol de Mazatlán, that irregular settlements in high-risk areas now total 70, according to an update of data made at the beginning of 2019.

He commented that the territorial invasions advance in an excessive growth, and although there is no official record, the problem has become more acute.

“There is anarchic growth in the city, Mazatlan is a clear example of that, in the most unthinkable areas invade them … day by day we are updating and increasing them, we have more than 70 irregular settlements and they keep adding up”.

He regretted that unscrupulous people have made the invasions a business or their way of life, as these promote irregular settlements to hunt lots and fatten them three or four years and then sell them to the highest bidder, making usufruct of that possession.

The problem comes later, when creating colonies with high percentages of irregular surface, some even with levels higher than 40% in terms of housing and land tenure.

This situation prevents families from having legal sustenance of their patrimony.

Cases like the Flores Magón colony, with seven extensions, have grown irregularly, or as May 12 and the Klein, which after 40 or 50 years, managed to be disincorporated from the federal maritime land area so that the City could give them legal certainty to the dozens of families that live there.


By the year 2050, the need for housing in Mazatlan will be three thousand residences per year, the question is how will this increasing demand be met?

Until now the problem has been a disorganized urban growth, the proliferation of large subdivisions far from the city, which has generated two thousand unoccupied Infonavit homes and two thousand hectares with vacant lots or unused buildings within the city, with all the public services.

The tendency with the new public policies is to urbanize towards the interior of the cities to take advantage of the spaces with water, drainage, roads, schools, hospitals, etc. and not have to exercise large sums of money to introduce services; that is, going inward and building vertically, rather than extending towards the horizon.

But the priority remains, the relocation of those 360 ​​families living in high risk areas, in more than 30 irregular settlements on the shores of streams and streams, as well as the brake on new invasions, providing housing options.

The General Law of Human Settlements includes administrative and criminal sanctions for authorities at all levels of government that allow for human settlements in areas at risk; However, should a tragedy arise, who will respond in the case of Mazatlan, if there are several administrations that have allowed or overlapped this situation.

The need for housing grows year after year, it is estimated that there are about five thousand homes per year that generates population growth, not counting the demand of families displaced by the phenomenon of violence in the mountain area, which is estimated at three thousand plus; The problem is that the Municipality does not have territorial reserves to offer them as an option.

Of that size is the problem noticed two years ago by the then holder of the Implan, Israel Victoria, when he said: “Mazatlan is at the exact moment, at the precise moment, but it does not have more time …”


280 colonies are in flood zones

60,000 inhabitants are affected by floods

2,092 hectares are abandoned vacant lots and buildings with all the urban infrastructure and services

70 irregular settlements with high risk there in the city of Mazatlan

360 families live in high-risk areas


58% population grew

113% increased the urban sprawl

SOURCE: Municipal Plan for Urban Development of Mazatlan


5,000 homes is the demand that generates population growth in Mazatlan today

3,000 homes are required for those displaced by the violence in the mountain area living in the port

7.85% is the annual average growth rate of housing in the 2005-2010 period of Mazatlan

3.56 occupants per household was the general average in 2010

2,000 Infonavit homes remain abandoned in the city for different reasons

Source: el sol de mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post