The other day, we were surprised to open our front door to find a taxi parked outside, having not heard it drive up. And even more surprised to find Doña Maria, our now 98-year old colona (property owner) inside. She had come to talk to my husband about selling her 2 lots. They negotiated a bit. She’s still as sharp as anything, even if her physical strength is giving out, although she recovered well from her fall at the last junta (community meeting). Finally she lowered her price to $50,000 pesos for the two lots with the understanding that if my husband found a buyer, she would give him something para la soda (a commission). We put a sign on our front door (Se venden 2 lotes. Informes aquí.) but not with much hope. With the current problems facing the neighborhood, nobody is buying. Doña Maria, however, is not in a position to wait until these things are resolved.
Then I received an email from R asking for the contact information of Super Prez. I forwarded the message to Super Prez and replied to R with Super Prez’s email. Well, guess what? R has left the country. He has gone to the States for an indefinite period of time to work and kindly gave his authorization for us to replace him as secretary (not that he did any work, mind you, but we need a secretary legally to form a mesa directiva). His vocal (understudy) el profe had already left the area and our councils several months previously due to marital problems. And yesterday, el taxista, the vocal (understudy) for the president, left for the border as well. So our official committee that legally must be made up of 6 members is reduced by half.
Desorollo Urbano (the permit office), who canceled their appearance at the last junta (community meeting) chose April 8 at 8:30 in the morning for their visit and inspection. Friday at 3 p.m. (the end of the workday), they called Super Prez to say that regretfully they were required to be in an urgent Monday morning meeting and therefore would not be able to visit La Yacata until April 14. Super Prez immediately called me, however, the volantes (flyers) had already been delivered and the radio announcement had already been paid for. My husband went to see if he could at least cancel the radio announcement, but the office personnel had already left for the day and anyway, there would be no refund given. This is México after all. My husband also said that he would not deliver any more flyers since this is the second time we have promised (in vain) the community that Desorollo Urbano, (the permit office), would be there. Our unity as a community is fragile and I’m afraid this will destroy it.
My theory is that el contratista chueco (the corrupt contractor who installed the stolen electricity system in La Yacata but now is the head contractor under the new president of Moroleón) or Chuchi went to JG the new president and compadre (buddy) and asked that the meeting be delayed. Chuchi is especially adept at throwing roadblocks in our way. (see demanda 1 & demanda 2) He understands that delay will irritate the people, causing them to become downhearted, and throw doubt on the mesa directiva’s credibility. El contratista chueco also has reasons for not wanting an inspection since what he did was illegal and questions will be asked. However, I can’t prove that either one had a hand in the last minute cancellation.
Super Prez and I (as the remaining committee members) now will have to stand with egg on our faces in front of the community tomorrow morning and explain how we weren’t able to deliver on our promise. Any credibility we have painstakingly earned now lies shattered at our feet.
Though we have lost this battle, we have not lost the war. We have not yet begun to fight, it’s just going to take longer. But I’m afraid Doña Maria will not be around to see our triumphs.