Fuerza Pública makes a dent in the Flamingo holiday party

This was the crowd Friday night.

Fuerza Pública officers moved in Saturday afternoon to crack down on open beer cans and a blocked road in Flamingo.

Officers caused an exodus of young men and women who came to the Pacific beach town for a five-day party, called Sonambulo Pscicotropico.

Residents who oppose the party have filed complaint after complaint. But Sunday they were happy in that the throng of partygoers had been reduced significantly.

Partygoers have a tent set up in the mangroves.

Until the police arrived, residents voiced via email a litany of complaints. The party did not have sanitary facilities sufficient for the crowd, and visitors were using the street as a bathroom, they said. In addition, the residents provided photos of a tent set up off the street in the mangroves, a clear violation of environmental rules.

Ulrik N. Oldenburg, in his capacity as secretary of the Asociacion Pro Mejoras Playa Flamingo, said he was starting a publicity campaign with the Spanish-language newspapers in an effort to get justice. The association filed a Sala IV appeal, but the constitutional court, in a preliminary ruling, only asked public officials and agencies to observe the long-running party. Oldenburg, a former hotel manager, and others also complain about the continual noise and the implications for tourism.

The party centers on the Ambares drinking establishment, but with a crowd like the 5,000 persons who partied last year, most of the activity is in the public street. A private firm is sponsoring the party and using the Ambares facilities.

That was what happened Friday, and residents sent photos of the crowd blocking the street. Similar photos from Saturday show a much more subdued event with far fewer participants.
That was the result of the Fuerza Pública enforcement of the public drinking laws.

When police arrived Saturday afternoon, they prohibited parking on the public streets near the event and zeroed in on coolers full of beer that had been set up on the roadway, said residents.

Youngster appears to object to the actions of police.

Many party participants left, and many were turned away before they arrived, residents said. Police confiscated open containers and dumped the contents. In some cases, this drew angry responses from the beer drinkers. The music still was loud Saturday night and into early Sunday, but the crowd was much smaller, residents said.

Police in the past had been reluctant to interfere with the event, perhaps because they feared a riot. But residents credit the Sala IV provisional ruling as having spurred the police into action.

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