Tag Archives: court proceedings in Mexico

No manches (You’ve got to be kidding)


ceramic pinata

La cantera da muchas vueltas!


My recent involvement in La Yacata business has been nearly non-existent especially since I last tried to quit the Mesa Directiva (Community Board of Directors) some time ago. (See Trying to bow out of La Yacata). I still answer questions and attend to people who brave the ferocious Chokis and knock at my door, point them to their lots, issue new certificates when lots change owners, and so on, but not much more.

So I was surprised when a few days ago, SuperPrez called me. However, I missed the call. He then sent me an email. Guess it was pretty important. He told me NOT to sign anything that R2 brought to my door and requested a meeting. In case you don’t remember, R2 is the brother of R1 who resembled Ronald McDonald and wanted to be president of La Yacata. R2 is also a lawyer and former presidente (mayor) of Moroleon and presented our case at court when we were slammed with 3 demandas (lawsuits). (See Demanda 1, Demanda 2, Demanda 3).

Anyway, I met with Super Prez to find out what was going on. It turns out that R2 (otherwise known as Rata (The Rat)) arrived at his office and threatened to sue La Yacata for nonpayment of services rendered. All righty then. When we had the discussion with R2 about payment for his services (see Negotiating for La Yacata) he gave a figure of 15% of the first lawsuit and 10% of lawsuit 2 and lawsuit 3 which gave us a rough amount of 300,000 pesos. However, we never signed anything that agreed to that sum either then or later. This was a verbal estimate on R2’s part, just so we could approximate what we could offer the well-hole driller.

As acting treasurer, I pulled together a list of colonos (community members) who have paid the $250 we requested from them to pay the lawyer’s bill and a list of the receipts I received from Rata when payment was made. Not including SuperPrez’s payments, the association has already paid 75,000 pesos to Rata. There is currently just under 3,000 pesos in the treasury. That 75,000 seems like a big chunk of money to me, especially since Super Prez and I did most of the work and he just handed it in all lawyered up and all.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Rata’s receipts for this 75,000 were unofficial. He didn’t have copies. He crossed out things and wrote other things right on the receipt, technically making them invalid or at least suspicious. One receipt was on a sheet of torn notebook paper. He did this so as not to declare the income and pay taxes on it. Hmmm.

Another interesting thing is that Chuchi is living in La Yacata. Yep, without water, electricity or sewer, just like the rest of us. Reportedly the reason is he lost his house in a debt payment. If you’ll remember Demanda 2, Chuchi tried to present into evidence the lien on his house in town that he took out to purchase the water rights for La Yacata. However, he had purchased the water rights in his own name, rather than in the name of the association. Furthermore, the person who sold him those rights listed as the lien holder of his house was a friend of SuperPrez and informed him that Chuchi defaulted on the payment and returned the water rights so as not to lose his house.

Chuchi also has several outstanding judgments against him in Ministerial Publico (Public Ministry) for lots that he sold that he did not have the right to sell, in other words, FRAUD.

Now I don’t know if Chuchi lost his house because of those fraudulent sales or the water rights issue or some other shady deal he had going on, but it just goes to prove La cantera da muchas vueltas. (What comes around goes around).

What strikes me as odd is the timing of R2 threating to sue La Yacata. R2’s earnings increased every single time a demanda (lawsuit) landed in our laps. It was in his best interest for these lawsuits to keep coming. He used the same defense for all three–so no additional work on his part. Then there was that comment Chuchi made to Rata “le encargo mio” (Keep my issue in mind) after we received the response to our offer from the pozo guy (See Negotiating La Yacata–The Response) What was that all about?

All of these thoughts, I shared with SuperPrez during our meeting. The approach he’s decided to take is to offer Rata (R2) Chuchi’s house in La Yacata, where Chuchi is currently living. HA! As Chuchi has no documentation giving him rights to that property, SuperPrez is in his legal rights to claim it and sell it (or in this case give it away). If Rata finds that deal unacceptable, well, we can start talking legal again. We could sue Chuchi for injury and hardship to the community in order to pay Rata a sum he feels is fair. Of course collecting it would be Rata’s problem. Or we could call a press meeting and show how Rata, the former president of Moroleon, is trying to squeeze the poorest of the poor for money. Remember, we have no electricity, no water or sewer. That would be fun!

SuperPrez is to meet with R2 (AKA Rata) sometime next week and lay our cards on the table. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.




Filed under La Yacata Revolution

Reconstructing the Facts

This is the intersection where the accident occurred.

This is the intersection where the accident occurred.

Before my father-in-law’s case could proceed to the higher court in Celaya, a mandatory reconstrución de hechos (reenactment) had to be held.  This required all participants, witnesses, lawyers, la juez (the judge) and a neutral perito (sort of like a detective) to be present.  This was scheduled December 27, the Friday after Christmas, at 9 a.m. in the morning.

As it turns out, in a rare weather fluke, it happened to be raining that morning, something that is far from common in December.  Since it had not been raining the day of the accident, the judge suspended the proceedings.  This angered many of the witnesses, since they had lost a day’s work and would lose a second day’s work for the rescheduled event.   Although it was a valid point, if the judge really was concerned about mimicking as close as possible the actual scene, she would have rescheduled this for mid-May.

Be that as it may, the proceeding was rescheduled for January 2, which was the Thursday after New Year’s.  We made arrangements for my husband to take his father to the courthouse and my son to help his aunt in the Tortilleria.  Unfortunately, we had in mind for some reason that January 2 was the Friday after New Year’s and so when my sister-in-called to say that we had been mistaken in the day, there was pure pandemonium.  I had already left for my classes and had taken my son’s phone with me to charge at the school.  So there was no phone in La Yacata for me to call to tell them of the mix-up.  I still had 30 minutes before the students were due to arrive, so I raced to La Yacata on my moto and arrived beeping at the house. When I explained the situation, my husband jumped on his moto and headed for the courthouse and my son hopped up behind me to go to the tortilleria.

When I dropped my son off, I glared at my sister-in-law and demanded to know why she hadn’t called sooner!  I then zoomed back to the school just in time for my first class of the day.

My husband was able to meet up with my father-in-law before the whole crew went out to the scene of the accident and therefore, provided some moral support.  He said that the lawyer remarked that since all the witnesses said different things, winning the case would be canijo (difficult), but he was going to continue.  The alternative is a murder conviction and jail time for my father-in-law and that just isn’t right.

So the next step is to wait for the court case to be called in Celaya and see what there is to be seen.



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Negotiating for La Yacata–Making the Offer

rainbow over la yacata

There are simple things, every day, that take your breath away.

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.



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Filed under La Yacata Revolution