R, who reminds me a bit of Ronald McDonald, was elected as the new president, however, I immediately had misgivings about him. He basically brought his own supporters to the junta (meeting) so of course, he would win. Majority rules. He was very focused on collecting from the colonos (associates), although I don’t know what he thought to collect for. The only cooperation we had asked for was 50 pesos per owner for office supplies and advertisements. His thoughts were random and scattered. And it turned out, he was a treasurer under Jesus’ regime, but they had a row and he quit.
Finally, but without R, we were able to meet with the electric contractor that worked for the presidencia (town hall). He hadn’t made it out to La Yacata for any sort of inspection as we had requested and when we went to see him at the presidencia (town hall) when he requested the governor of GTO was giving a rally speech or something and he couldn’t meet with us. So we returned the following day and were able to have the meeting.
However, I’m not sure that it was at all helpful. First, he said he needed the electrification plan, which Chuchi refused to give us. Then he told us it was a long and extensive complicated process and mentioned that he was so near retirement that he was tired. This wasn’t encouraging at all. He asked if we had escritoras (deeds) but again, he should know that we don’t because you can not have a deed until the lot has services which include electric, sewer and water. As we had none of those, we had no deeds. To me, it seemed he was putting the cart before the horse, but anyway. . .
So he said that we need the receipts of the posts and transformers and wires that are already in place, which of course we didn’t have. He suggested we write the numbers on the posts down and possibly the factory that made the posts could give us some information about it. The wires may be able to be reused as there had been no electric passing through them. But the transformers would have to be taken down and sent to a lab to see if they were still functioning. Additionally, he says that the new rule is that all wires must go underground, so the system we had in place was obsolete. This seemed ridiculous because we already had the posts and wires and transformers and it was only a matter of updating what needs updating, repairing anything that needs repaired and turning on the electric, at least in our minds. Then he intimated ominously that we would also need the “cambio de uso de suelo” (zoning change) to proceed and permission from Desorrollo Urbano, (zoning office) which he knew we didn’t have and hadn’t been able to get. He further went on to speculate that the change from agricultural to habitation may be more difficult that we would like to imagine since farming is considered ‘sacred’ in México. I found it hard to believe that the area that was still being farmed in La Yacata, which was plowed and planted and harvested by one elderly man, would be considered so sacred that the necessities of the families living there would not be considered, but who could say for sure.
Well, we did what we could. We copied the numbers off the posts and went to CFE, the electric company, and asked about them. They had no registration of any of the posts and referred us to the main office in Celaya. So another day trip to Celaya, who referred us to the contractor who had supposedly done the job, since their office had no record of a permit ever being issued nor work ever being completed. As el contratista was from Moroleón, we returned home, no progress made.
Two months after R’s election, he still hadn’t registered his presidency, probably because there was a cost involved and the La Yacata funds were non-existent at the time. So I took matters into my own hands again and went to see the son of the original owner.
We had met with him when J was still president to ask about what he knew about making La Yacata conform to current norms. He was polite and helpful. But we needed something more. He had a vested interest in the success of La Yacata as a good portion still belonged to his family. Furthermore, he was the contractor and president of several other developments, so knew how to obtain the proper documentation from the presidency, which seemed to have all of us stymied.
I don’t know what he was thinking when I went to his office to plead our case. There was so much I didn’t know about these things, both the legal and illegal aspects of it. So he started at the beginning. He explained how we would have to purchase water rights before we could even apply for the electric. That will cost about $10,000 pesos per lot. Seems expensive, however then the municipality would do all the work and it would be done right. But before he became overly involved, we would have to have another meeting and present both the information we obtained and the motion to remove the current president, who had done nothing thus far.
Meanwhile, it was rainy season in La Yacata. All the desert blossoms were nearly in bloom and the ground was covered in springy plants. Unfortunately, with the heavy rains and the fact that the electric posts were put in a swamp without any sort of base, one had fallen over. It pulled the rest of the wires and created an incredible tension on them, causing a domino effect with the other posts in both directions. The electric company didn’t bother to come out when we called because they have no record of posts being there. Civil Protection did come, however, and move the posts and wires off the road, where it sits still.