Category Archives: La Yacata Revolution

Less than Satisfied with Community Spirit

The other day a lady came to the door about some lots in La Yacata.  Even though I’ve retired from active service, I still find myself called upon to advise.  Her sons looked surprisingly familiar.  In fact, they looked quite a bit like my nephew L.  Turns out, they are related.

My husband’s sister M. took up with DZ, brother of the woman at the door.  She had 3 children with him, although not his wife.  They met in Cerano and when DZ migrated to Nebraska, she followed him, leaving the wife and her children in Cerano.  My husband’s sister L. took up with LZ, brother of DZ and the woman at the door, although she was married with 2 children at the time.  Her third son L is the result of that liaison and he’s the spitting image of the boys at the door. So then L married her second husband and had another son but took up with the LZ and DZ’s sister’s husband C for a time.  She also managed to get the father MZ of LZ, DZ and the woman at the door, to sell her the lot on the corner in La Yacata. The property certificate was issued to her second husband’s mother, only it turns out that L was never legally married to the second husband since they married while she was still married to the first husband.  When second husband and L had a falling out, she kept the certificate.  Recently, the second husband has been coming around to try and sell the lot or give it in exchange for some money he owes–only he doesn’t have the certificate.  He tried to accuse me of making another certificate in L’s name, but I haven’t.  She’s never asked me to. I expect because L knows I wouldn’t authorize it without second husband’s mother’s signature.

Family issues aside–Ma.Z, the woman at the door proceeded to tell me her story of woe.  Her father MZ bought several lots in La Yacata and partitioned them off amongst his children.  She and her two sisters had lots just above us. Only RZ, one of the sisters and the wife of C, had taken all the original ownership certificates.  Most of the certificates had been returned to the dad MZ–all except for Lot #9.  And it was this lot that Ma.Z wanted to sell.  

I showed her the property registry.  Apparently, she had already sung this song to Super Prez because there was a notation to the effect that in the event someone comes forward with this certificate, the owner is Ma.Z.  I told her there wasn’t anything more I could do but gave her some free advice.  She could do one of two things–go to Ministerio Publico and have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up against her sister RZ or offer to go miches (split the profit) on the selling price in an attempt to get RZ to agree to the sale.  She left rather less than satisfied.

Then I had another visitor.  This guy was an older gentleman and self-proclaimed corredor (which is someone who tries to sell lots to earn a small commission).  So he had this certificate that was made by Chuchi in an area that didn’t exist.  I told him this.  I also told him the certificate that he had in his hand was a copy, not the original.  He wanted me to give him another lot in exchange.  I said I couldn’t since every lot had an owner (or 2 or 3).  He then went on and on about how he knew the original owners and Chuchi.  I said he should talk to them then.  The president of the association is the son of the original owner.  Chuchi has lost his house due to shady deals and as far as I know, has several open demandas (lawsuit) against him. Furthermore, the person listed on the certificate knew that his certificate was invalid because I had talked to him about 2 years ago.  He could go to Ministerio Publico and have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up against any of them.  He left rather less than satisfied.

And then there were the golden van people who have come several times.  First, the elderly lady wanted to know where her lots were.  I showed her in the community plan.  Then she wanted someone to clear them off.  I said my husband would clear and mark the boundaries of her lots but there was a fee for that.  They went away but came back a few weeks later saying that they had come several times looking for me.  I told them that I worked and wasn’t always at home.  She wanted to know when we were going to have a community meeting and start the next project.  At the last meeting, so long ago, we presented the costs for water, sewage, pavement, and electricity to the community.  Sewage would be the cheapest to obtain at $6,000 per lot.  She wanted to know when we would begin collecting for that.  I said that we could not begin another project until we paid for the lawyer and that cost was only $250 pesos per lot.  If the community couldn’t be bothered to pay that, why on earth would we start a new project?

Meanwhile, the kids in the van got out.  Puppy was laying in the shade under the truck. I told the people that he does bark, but won’t bite.  Puppy was already cranky because the horse guy’s horses were wandering around loose and encroaching on his territory.  The boy had a slingshot and the girl picked something that was in Puppy’s area, probably a rock.  So he went ballistic.  He charged the girl and growled at her.  I stepped between Puppy and the girl and called him off.  She hadn’t been bitten, just scared.  But then, the dad, who had been standing there the entire time, picked up a boulder and tried to bash Puppy’s head in.  I called him a name or two (in English because in times of high emotion my Spanish fails me) and told him to leave and not to return.  I also yelled at the old lady and told her to sell her lots and be done with it.  Perhaps not my finest moment.  They left less than satisfied.

While I’m on the topic of La Yacata–we’ve been the subject of quite a bit of negative gossip.  Apparently, someone said that my husband started the brush fire that burned the posts of the cholo borrachos’ (drunk cholos) lot. Of course, that isn’t true.  It’s actually quite inconvenient that someone set the fire since now there’s nothing left for our sheep/goat herd/flock to eat. Plus it spawned a smoldering fire in the pig poop which takes weeks to burn itself out and smells! Then someone else said that my husband had broken into their place and stolen stuff.  Again, this isn’t true.  He does tend to pick up things like old pots and discarded candlesticks when he’s out with the goats which he sells for fierro viejo (recycling) but never goes into a house to steal anything.  In fact, his presence is often a theft deterrent.  The other day we were out with the animals and a suspicious van came along.  The driver saw us and decided to go someplace else.  Who knows what sort of funny business it had in mind?

Anyway, my husband is quite put out about all the chisme (gossip).  I tried to tell him that it didn’t matter because he knew it wasn’t true and I knew it wasn’t true. He said that the neighbors threatened a demanda (lawsuit) against him.  Initially, I scoffed at that because he hadn’t done anything so what is there to sue over?  However, we are in Mexico and it’s guilty until proven innocent and how do you prove something that you haven’t done? Remember all those demandas I had to testify at (See Demanda 1, Demanda 2, Demanda 3)-all of them were bogus, but cost an arm and a leg to get it resolved. So perhaps I should be more concerned.  

I’m also concerned that the golden van people will come back and poison Puppy.  We’ve had a rash of mysterious chicken deaths this week.  They could have been poisoned.  It wouldn’t take much effort to lob some veneno (poison) over the walls into the backyard. There’s no conclusive proof though so I won’t be heading to Ministerio Publico to have a demanda (lawsuit) drawn up.  It leaves me less than satisfied.

being me

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Road Construction

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Last year I got my solar light hopes dashed by the installation of a huge, green, interstate highway size sign at the crossroads.  Well, this year, the powers that be decided that the two-lane slightly crooked cowpath that runs past La Yacata needed to be as spectacular as the new signage.

The entire construction process was hair-raising, to say the least.  Every day, huge construction vehicles rolled up and down the road that I, on my piddly little motorcycle, used daily to get to town.  Sometimes hot oil was spraying off the side, sometimes stones were pouring from the back of dump trucks, sometimes the backhoe was swinging its huge arm over my head.

So where were the construction guards, those guys that are supposed to signal danger ahead with little flags? Over there, in the shade of the mesquite.  It was too damn hot to stand where they could be useful.

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For weeks, it was always a surprise to come home after dark.  See, in the afternoons, the huge dump trucks poured the next days’ rockpile on the road.  Even if you thought you could jump the first mound of rocks, the piles were graduated in size, each progressively higher.  Since these rock piles were not there when I went to town, the trek home after dark was a full-fledged adrenaline rush as I wove and swerved and attempted to stay somewhat on the road or at least keep from crashing. I suppose we should count our lucky stars that there were only two fatal accidents during the whole revamping.

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The intersection has become this behemoth entranceway, fully capable of funneling at least 8 lanes of traffic.

After months of work, they have finally finished.  Since completion, there have been four fatal accidents, one involving a donkey and his rider, at the intersection because THERE ARE NO LIGHTS!  I can hardly wait to see what new improvements the benevolent government will bestow on us next year.

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Off to Ministerio Publico

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!

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This post was proofread by Grammarly.

 

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Surviving a Jawhole disaster in La Yacata

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A jaw hole is a hole in which dirty water or sewage is collected. And yes, there are apocalyptical disasters involving sewage, and not just in third-world countries either.

London, UK. 1878. The local sewage system still in use today had formed large mud banks of waste in the Thames River. The steamer Princess Alice sunk in the middle of the Thames and 650 people died from drowning in the raw sewage.

Louisville, Kentucky, USA. February 13, 1981. Two miles of road were destroyed when hexane vapors illegally discharged into the sewers caught fire and caused a series of explosions.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. April 22, 1992. Two hundred fifty-two people were killed, 500 were injured and another 15,000 people were left homeless after gas explosions in the sewer system destroyed 5 miles of streets. Strong gas smells had been reported by residents four days previous to the disaster, however, city officials felt it was not necessary to evacuate the area.

 

 

 

Um El-Naser, Gaza. March 27, 2007. Seventy percent of the village’s homes were submerged in 2 meters of raw sewage when the earthen wall of a cesspool sewage pool collapsed. Five people were killed, including two babies, an elderly woman, and a 15-year-old girl, 20 more people were injured. The collapse was due to sand theft from the areas around the embankment. The sand had been sold to building contractors.

Edinburgh, Scotland. April 20, 2007. A pump failed at the city’s sewage processing plant and caused millions of liters of waste to flow into the Firth of Forth for days. It was devasting to the local fish and wildlife.

San Isidro and La Providencia, Mexico. April 2011. Three children were injured and more than 200 homes were flooded when a sewage pipe cracked.

So what about La Yacata? Well, we aren’t connected to the main sewer line. (See You can Lead a horse to water, sewage, and electricity) Although we reuse quite a bit of our greywater for our garden, our toilet and shower drains are connected to a pipe that connects to the drenaje (drainage) out to the road. To no one’s surprise, the pipes in the road are not the appropriate size. These smaller than requisite pipes run down the road and swerve to the left and open out to the arroyo (an open drainage pit or jaw hole). The little towns up the road, Caricheo, Pamaceo, La Ordeña, Las Peñas, all have the same jaw hole. The sewage goes away–to where I’m not exactly sure.

One of our neighbors once mentioned that he likes to stand under the pipe and bathe during the rainy season. EWW! Be that as it may…

We have a beginning of an environmental disaster on our hands. Our neighbor has pigs. (See Hate Thy Neighbor) He shovels the pig poop into the sewer pipes. The sewer pipes are not designed for human poop much less pig poop. Pig poop has backed up into the sewer pipes and has been oozing out of the open sewer pipe of the house down the street. Our house is above the pig farm, so the poop hasn’t reached us yet, but if it does, boy am I going to pitch a fit!

Our plan is to call the Departamento de Ecologia before that happens. I’m sure the neighbor won’t be happy with us, but hey, poop is icky!  And I hope the road doesn’t collapse over the sewer one day like happened to this poor woman in India!

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