We set up the meeting with el perforador del pozo (well hole digger) Friday at 6 (See Negotiating for La Yacata–The Preliminary Meeting) and received confirmation that he would attend. Super Prez asked that G, me, and R2 meet at 5:30 to make sure we were all in agreement with the offer that was to be made.
When I arrived, Super Prez informed me that he had an appointment with the iglesia (church) at 6 p.m. that he had forgotten about–a meeting with el padre (priest) about his daughter’s first communion. He had wished to leave G as his spokesperson, however, we hadn’t been able to reach him to tell him of the meeting. He thought about leaving R2 in charge, as he is out legal representative after all and charging us the big bucks, however, I wasn’t in agreement with that. I said that he couldn’t leave me as the spokesperson because I was both female and gringa (non-Mexican) and that might stir all sorts of hostilities with the macho men. Finally, he asked his brother to stand in his stead at the church meeting, which I am sure didn’t make his wife too happy.
At 6, the representatives of the pozo guy arrived. They were female, and here I had been worried about my presence!! R2 still hadn’t arrived and when Super Prez called said he was 5 minutes away. Twenty minutes later, he did finally call to let us know he was outside. Super Prez and I slipped out the side door to meet with him.
Our points would be–
1)while not acknowledging that the perforation had been made in the area known as La Yacata, we would propose that the association make good on the debt for the work done in the digging
2)that we would deduct the amount of the legal costs we had and would pay to our lawyer from the amount of the debt
3) that if this court case continued, it could become a penal case which would mean jail time for the pozo guy
We went back in and sat down at the table.
Everything seemed pretty straightforward to me, but the conversation got a bit out of control.
We exchanged greetings with the muchachas (young ladies). Both looked to be in their mid-twenties and were reportedly nieces and lawyers of the pozo guy. I was not sure why such a macho man as the pozo guy would send women to represent him, unless he thought that their youth and femininity would help his cause. His local legal representative (and Chuchi’s lawyer) is also female.
We waited until the first muchacha abogada (lady lawyer) made the offer. She said her uncle wanted a payment of $560,000, without any more talk interest or court costs, and he would like it sooner rather than later.
So SuperPrez countered with the fact that he had made a similar offer when this all started some 2 years ago and had been refused and that was before he discovered that the perforation was outside of La Yacata. Now the situation was complicated by the fact that the association would have to make arrangements with the current owner to even use the pozo (well) AND that these court proceedings were to cost us $300,000 pesos. So the counter offer was $200,000.(See The third demanda–What the…?)
The first muchacha abogada (lady lawyer) didn’t think that offer would be accepted. She said that her uncle was paying her with properties rather than cash and that each party would have to assume the responsibility of the court costs. She directed her comments to R2 saying that as lawyers they had to be understanding about payments and accept what was offered. (If you’ll remember, R2 has not accepted an offer of property as payment from the association saying that his children have to eat 3 times a day and properties won’t feed them. I will point out that his grown children are not starving and in no way, shape or form, will they starve if he accepts the land offer.)
So somehow or other, SuperPrez brought me into the conversation. He pointed out that the population of La Yacata is that of extreme pobreza (poverty-level) and here was la maestra (the teacher) who left a first-world country to live in such destitute conditions and was writing about it. I have no idea what prompted him to mention that little tidbit.
Regardless of his reasoning, I used that trailer as a segue into my main point with a “well, you can all read the book when it is published but what you have to understand now is that the population of La Yacata is very angry about the current legal situation.” This is true. In fact, we haven’t even wanted to mention that there is a third demanda (lawsuit) against the colonia (community). And since we haven’t wanted to mention that, we haven’t had any juntas (meetings) all rainy season. And without juntas (meetings) we haven’t been able to collect any payment to pay the lawyer for the money we owe on the first case, much less the second, and now there is a third… How are we to convince the colonos (community members) to pay for the pozo (well) when many already have and furthermore we have no proof that the perforation is even usable?
The fluffy muchacha abogada (lady lawyer) asked if the colonos understood that both the colonia and the pozo guy had been defrauded by Chuchi. We all nodded, but that didn’t change the fact that we had received threats from colonos (community members) about this issue with some coming into SuperPrez’s office and threatening to fix the situation with ballasos (bullets).
So R2 chimed in and pointed out that the situation could become penal (he likes that phrasing) with Chuchi and the pozo guy both doing jail time for the fraudulent pagaré (promissory note) that was currently being investigated by a neutral investigator set by the judge.
Even with that blatant threat of jail time, the ambiance remained pleasant, not exactly friendly, but not hostile. The first muchacha abogada (lady lawyer) said that she would present the offer to her uncle and let us know his answer.
We agreed to meet the following Friday at 6 for the results and further negotiation.
Super Prez dashed out of the office, an hour late for his meeting with the church.