So el profe, R, the son of the original owner and I had a meeting. First, R started with the information that he had talked to the electric contractor in the presidency and had a list of requirements we needed, proof of work completed, authorization number, proof of payment, etc. We had already been to speak with him, so it really was redundant, but oh well.
The owner’s son tried to explain that el contratista more than likely had done the work without permission as he has never been in charge of projects, only an employee of the electric company. But R seemed not to get it. So we trooped over to el contratista’s office to ask for these documentation.
In el contratista‘s office, R began by asking for these documents, and el contratista wanted to know who had requested them. R gave the head guy’s name at the electric company, although they hadn’t been able to speak with him the last time they went. So el contratista admitted he had done the work but said he wouldn’t give us any documentation as he was still owed money. But he couldn’t say how much. And that he wouldn’t give us anything until he spoke with Chuchi as his contract was with Chuchi. He went on and on about professional ethics.
I was getting angrier by the moment and interrupted to ask whether his contract wasn’t with the people of La Yacata, but he was insistent that it was not. But I disagreed. It would be another matter if he had done work in Chuchi’s house, for example, then the deal would be strictly between him and Chuchi. However the work was done in La Yacata, a development jointly-owned by the property owners.
Then el contratista started to get more defensive. He made the statement that no one could obligate him to show his papers. I interrupted again. I said that we could obligate him. We could go to the Public Ministry, put in a demanda (lawsuit) against him, and he would be forced to show us the contract.
This shocked not only el contratista, but the other members of the committee. Seems that it was a social no-no, and el contratista went back to his professional ethics speech. R pointed out that Chuchi was not likely to pay him any money owed and asked why he would continue to believe that when it had been quite a few years that the work had been done, without full payment.
Apparently, el contratista was wealthy enough to not worry about getting paid or what he did was illegal and didn’t really expect to be paid fully. He made the statement that he didn’t want to start trouble and that if Chuchi didn’t pay, that’s ok. And that those that would be affected by a lien that he would level would be the people of La Yacata. Again I interrupted and said that we were people that lived in La Yacata, and we needed to know how much was owed so that we would know how much each of us had to pay. But he still didn’t want to name a figure. So I suggested since he didn’t want to give us any information, perhaps he would be willing to come to a community meeting and there present his bill to be approved for payment from the community members. He didn’t say yes. He didn’t say no.
He seemed particularly put out by R’s presence. He told R that what he was doing was wrong, but wasn’t specific. R took it to mean that having a new community council and stated that by law we were constituted. Then el contratista changed the subject. It made me wonder if R knew more about these dealings than he wanted to admit.
I was very angry about it as it was obvious there was no legality to the work done. El contratista as much as admitted it was a private deal between himself and Chuchi, and had nothing to do with the electric company. We were stuck in a position that really it would be better if he came and took away all the things he had done and leave it a clean slate to begin again. It’s probably better that I didn’t go along to any more of these sorts of meetings since I am not one to pussyfoot around the issue. I told as much to the owner’s son after we left. I’m definitely lacking in the fine art of diplomacy.