Tag 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



Filed under La Yacata Revolution

Pleading in the Presidencia Phase 10

So, we have entered 2013, still waiting on the judge in the second demanda (lawsuit) to send a neutral perito (surveyor) and make a ruling. The Christmas season has ended, and Lent has begun and it is time for another junta (community meeting). We waited all of February for Desorolla Urbana (the permit office) to give us a definite date when they would come to La Yacata and explain in general terms why what is in place in terms of water, sewage and electricity, is not serviceable. Finally, we could not wait any longer and set the date for March 10.


La presidencia de Moroleon (town hall)

On March 8th, we were given an appointment in Desorolla Urbana to meet with the new director. When Moroleón elects a new town presidente (mayor), most of the government employees are replaced with cronies and relatives of the new presidente (mayor). As the new president took office in December, the director in Desorolla Urbana is not the same one that we met with before. I’m not sure how this is an effective way to manage government since often the replacements are even less qualified than the previous ones. As they know they will only have 3 years at this post, there is no effort on their part to do things the way they ought to be done to prevent future problems for the next person who holds that position. Regardless, it’s best to make the attempt.

I took special care with my appearance, even so far as painting my toenails, not that I thought it would necessarily help, but my philosophy is it’s better to approach the powers that be arrayed as a queen willing to negotiate than a peasant begging for favors. R is currently in the States, so would not be present for the meeting. Super Prez and I made arrangements to meet in the entrance of the Presidencia (town hall) a few minutes before the meeting.

When he arrived, I could see he also took care in his appearance. Instead of the normal polo shirt, he wore jeans and a blue-checked country bumpkin shirt, although he left out the oversized belt buckle and boots that would have completed the outfit. Of course, some of the effect was ruined in the crisp ironed creases in his obviously new shirt, but I suppose he was making an attempt to be more representative of the colonos (property owners) in La Yacata.

So we went upstairs. On the way, Super Prez, who averages 2 to 3 days in the Presidencia (town hall) per week because of his business (he has a construction company that is often employed by the municipality), was greeted by several Presidencia (town hall) employees, even the current presidente (mayor) JG, who stopped and shook his hand as he hurried out to a meeting. We didn’t have long to wait and were ushered into the new director’s office.

The director started by handing us a list of applications made by La Yacata since 1997 and that’s pretty much all we got from him. He talked about how things are more accessible nowadays and problems that he has with Chuchi. While we agreed with all of this information, I pointed out that those that needed to hear this information were the colonos (property owners) of La Yacata and asked when he would be available to come to La Yacata or whether we should send all 680 members to his office. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really the sort of person that should be taken along in political pussyfooting. Anyway, he didn’t have a date scheduled and most assuredly wouldn’t consider a Sunday visit, although that is the day we have always had our juntas (meeting).

Needless to say, I was a bit disgruntled when we left the office. What were we supposed to tell the colonos (property owners) on Sunday? That yet again, Desorolla Urbana was not interested in stirring themselves to help us make things right? Hardly the stuff that inspires community spirit.

But the meeting went better than expected. We started with a complete run-down of our expenses since Super Prez took over. Apparently, there were some speculations that we were in this for the money. Well, being a detailed oriented and honest person, I could account for every single centavo that passed through my hands. Hopefully, that doubt has been laid to rest for the moment. Then Super Prez read the paper given to us by Desorolla Urbana and got the people to agree on a day and a time of day to re-invite Desorolla Urbana and the registradores (I’m not sure yet who they are but seem to be those that make the final decisions). So, some Monday in the near future in the morning, we will have this inspection of sorts. While Super Prez was explaining all of this technical stuff, it suddenly dawned on some of the colonos (property owners) that all services that had been supposedly completed by Chuchi were not usable and all the money that Chuchi had received was gone and that all the services would need to be redone and consequently, paid for by us again. This is not anything new but does still engender frustration and anger. Before it could get out of hand, I decided I needed to say something. I spoke fumblingly, not having the words I wanted in Spanish, but surprisingly everyone was patient and heard me out. My point was that yes, we are all frustrated and angry but we need to be unified in our efforts and not let the anger stop us. If we aren’t unified, we won’t ever be in a position to improve our living situation. That seemed to calm down most of the attending members for a bit.

Our problem is that La Yacata has never been granted the “cambio de uso de suelo” permit which changes the fraccionamiento (neighborhood) from agricultural to residential. Without this permit, there are no permits for water, sewer or electricity. I think we finally got that point across this time.

The meeting broke up when our 97-year-old property owner fell and cut her head open. One colona (property owner who isn‘t living in La Yacata) asked me if I had some ice to put on the Doña’s head to help stop the bleeding. Maybe I was a little scornful with my answer–that NO, there is no electricity in my house, therefore, no ice–but really now! Anyway, Doña Maria was taken by a fellow colono (property owner) to the hospital.

After the junta (meeting) I talked with Super Prez a bit and remarked that the speed with which we were moving in our efforts to advance the colonia (neighborhood) were not at a speed that Doña Maria would be a beneficiary of. Super Prez, though, believes that we have made good progress in the 18 months or so that we have been making efforts to get organized, but did agree that Doña Maria may not live to have water, sewage, and electricity. As this Monday is the birthday of Benito Juarez and a federal holiday and the following week begins Semana Santa (Holy Week), it will be at least a month before we can get anyone in the Presidencia (town hall) to come and see us. No hurry though, right?






Filed under La Yacata Revolution, Politics