Well, this story starts about a year and a half ago. Rita purchased 3 lots, 2 for her brother and one for herself, from an aging colono (member) of La Yacata. Super Prez being busy and all, delayed the certificates printing for some time and Rita was having none of that. She stopped by at least twice a week at my house, twice more at SuperPrez’s office. She even camped out by the office back door hoping to catch Super Prez leaving. Insistent is an understatement in her case. Eventually, her certificates were ready for pick-up and she picked them up.
I had hoped that would be the last I heard of her. However in August of last year, I was coming home from the morning shopping trip, lo and behold, there she was again. She had this long drawn out story of how someone who she had confidence in had taken her certificate along with some other papers. I said that we kept a copy in the files and that if she wanted, she could have a new certificate made up, voiding the now missing certificate. All the appropriate paperwork I forwarded to Super Prez and figured he’d let me know when it was ready for my signature.
Then in January of this year, Sal, brother of Rita showed up with this lost certificate. Storytelling must run in the family. He had a long convoluted story of how his sister said the association (which is pretty much me and only me) had made an error because the certificate should be in his name. So she ceded the property rights (he showed me her signature) to him and he wanted a revised certificate reflecting his status as owner. He said his sister wasn’t often home so it wouldn’t be easy to find her, besides he had the certificate and the signature and that should be enough. I said I would take the paperwork and turn it into Super Prez and that he should check at the office in about a month so see if it was ready for pickup.
After he left, I started to get suspicious about the whole thing. Why would Rita have told that long and emotional story about being betrayed and robbed earlier if she didn’t have any legal right to the property in the first place? Why wouldn’t Sal be incensed, like most people are, when there is a mistake on the certificate? You wouldn’t believe how bent out of shape some people get over a typo on these certificates. And yet, good ol’ Sal shrugged and said it was a mistake.
So turn in the paperwork I did, however, I did not write up the order for a new certificate. I attached a note listing my concerns and requesting that Super Prez contact Rita. I also sent him an email to the same effect.
Much to my surprise, Rita herself showed up at my door the following Sunday with yet another long story session. I don’t know exactly what her purpose in coming was, maybe just to have a new audience for her latest tales of woe. From what I gathered, her brother Sal had pushed their mother down the steps then called the women’s abuse shelter. Lawyers came from Guanajuato to investigate the assault against his mother. Then there was some testimony by the mentally challenged boy that lived there, I never did figure out whose child he was, that named Sal as the instigator of the investigation, saying that his purpose was to take possession of the house where his mother and sister lived.
Furthermore, there was some alleged extortion over the pet cat. Apparently, Sal kidnapped said animal, much to the mother’s distress. Well, cats won’t go where they don’t want to go, so it eventually found its way back home, but it was all very emotional to hear Rita tell about it.
So when she had finally wound down enough, I told her about her brother showing up with that lost certificate. She didn’t seem to understand what I was I saying, so I repeated the story to her silent husband. Then he explained what I said to her. Her mind was still in the story she had told apparently. I told them that if she hadn’t signed that certificate, then good brother Sal was guilty of fraud and that she should take this up with the Ministero Publico. She wanted immediate possession of the certificate. Of course, it was already in Super Prez’s office.
So I sent off an email telling Super Prez she was coming for the certificate. He didn’t give her the certificate. He said he would hold on to it until asked to turn in it to Ministerio Publico for the demanda (lawsuit). Seems reasonable to me.
I thought I was finished with all this until Rita showed up yet again at my house. She wanted to know why I hadn’t gone to Ministerio Publico for my declaration. What? No one told me anything about that. Apparently, the Ministerio Publico messenger had gone twice to the school where I work to deliver the summons, but couldn’t find me. What? How was that possible. I’m there every day from 7 am until 2 pm. So the next day I asked the front office if anyone of the legal persuasion had been looking for me. Negative. All righty then.
Two days later, the director came up to my office and said that someone from Ministerio Publico came looking for me, but had been knocking at the side door. What? Couldn’t that person see the GIANT open entrance to the school? Anyway, he didn’t even have the papers to deliver. He said he’d be back with them. Why would you go to deliver a summons but not take the summons? Who knows! I didn’t stick around.
Monday morning the secretary came to say that men in suits were at the entrance asking for me. This must be it then. I braced myself and went to receive the summons. There were 2 copies, one for me and one to sign and return. I squawked a bit about having to work, but the guy was unflappable. He said I could use the summons as a justification for missing work–try telling that to my online students. Well, I would just hope it would be quick.
Armed with my official ID, I set out for the Ministerio Publico directly after work. I entered and there was an open book but no attendant. I peeked around the corner and asked if I was supposed to sign the book, this being my first visit to the MP and all. Yep, I was. Reason for my visit–citatorio (summons). I asked where I should go–upstairs. Well, that was a little vague, but up them stairs, I went.
On the first landing, there was nothing but a bunch of chairs. Ok, second landing then. There were 2 offices. As my letter didn’t specify which office, I tromped in one, eeny meeny miney moe style. There were two fully armed police officers. Have I mentioned that police officers carry large weapons and wear full bodysuits here? So I asked the nearest police officer who I was supposed to see. He gestured toward this younger, rounder guy with a tie on. I handed him my paper and he said yes, I should be here, but could I wait downstairs until he finished with the current issue. Ok. I wandered back downstairs. A little while later, those police officers and a guy in handcuffs came down and exited the building. And still later, the guy in the tie came down. He said he’d be right with me–called me maestra (teacher). Well, I suppose that’s easy to determine as the summons went to the school and I was still in my uniform and he’d probably already talked to Rita who would surely leave no detail of my life out in her declaration.
While I was waiting, my sister-in-law L and her newest squeeze waltzed in. We were both a bit startled to see each other. I can’t wait to see what story she concocts to explain my presence there. Perhaps I’ll be trying to steal her father’s house or some such nonsense.
It was about 40 minutes after I first arrived that I took the seat at the tie guy’s desk. He didn’t start right away. Seemed there were some things he had to finish up on other cases. He also was very distracted by the goings on at the other 2 desks in the office. Twice he said something and I thought he was addressing me, but he wasn’t.
Eventually, he began with name and address type questions. Apparently, my name was too common for all the drama involved because Rita or somebody had rechristened me. I was now C. de las Flores along the same vein as Maria de la Santa Cruz, Maria de Nuestra Soledad, Maria de la Luz, Maria de los Angeles, and so on that are so popular here. I whipped out my driver’s license and explained that the name listed there was my legal name.
The certificate in question was in the file, so it seems Super Prez had already made his declaration. I recapped my interaction with Sal. The guy with the tie typed it up. He was amazingly adept at 3 finger typing. He printed it out. I signed and was free to go.
My son had patiently waited in el centro for an hour for me to be released. He said he had passed the time by helping out of towners find places.
Having done our good deeds for the day, we headed home. I can’t say if this is the last thing I’ll have to do for this issue or not. I hope so!
This post was proofread by Grammarly.
3 responses to “Off to Ministerio Publico”
Quite frankly I don’t understand the nature of the problem here. Is it a dispute over the property deed, or a tax payment. I even read the document that came with the post and I can’t figure out what this is about… Sorry.
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Ha! You and me both. I was called in to testify that this lady’s brother attempted to claim the property as his own. She sued him over this misappropriation of documents. Who says blood is thicker than water? I’m not exactly sure how the family cat got involved, though.
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