A very close personal friend of mine was preparing to enjoy a torta from one of the oldest restaurants in Guaymas on Wednesday night at around 8:30 in the evening. Before the tortas had even arrived at the table of the iconic El Lucerito restaurant, dinner was abruptly interrupted when three guys carrying assault riffles calmly walked through the front door. My friend thought at first that the riffles were just toy guns. She was soon to realize that she was sadly mistaken when the gunmen opened fire on 4 people sitting at a table about 20 feet away from them. It has been reported that at least 49 bullet casings were collected off the floor. At least one innocent bystander was shot in the legs and apparently had a bullet graze her face.
As usual if you read several articles in the Mexican media you will have several different accounts. One account says that the gun men fired from their vehicle into the restaurant. Fortunately for us here at San Carlos TV a friend of ours watched the events unfold thus we can give a more accurate report of the events.
Now here is the really disturbing part that has not been reported in any of the media accounts I have seen online so far. After the gunmen opened fire they calmly got in their truck and then drove around the block, parked in the same spot were they were just moments earlier. Got out of the truck walked into the restaurant double checked the scene and then left once again. What those actions suggest is that the gunmen were in no real hurry, as if they knew that they had a certain amount of time before the police would show up. It’s makes one wonder if these shooting are prearranged with local police ahead of time.
Many American realtors in San Carlos believe that the information that is contained in this blog and our in print San Carlos Wireless news paper is bad for San Carlos and bad for business. I am reminded of a time two winter seasons ago when we started the San Carlos Wireless and Ines was out selling advertising, the Wireless is free of charge and you will note that San Carlos TV is completely free of advertising and not monetized. Ines walked into Karen Stewards real estate company Sea Side Realty and asked Karen if she would like to advertise. Boy were we in for an earful. Karen told Ines that not only was she not interested in advertising but yet the information that we reported on was quote “bad for San Carlos”. We didn’t mind Karen not advertising with us but what kind of bugged me was her attitude that some how discussing and exposing real estate fraud was actually worse than the fraud itself. I thought what was bad for San Carlos were the actual acts of fraud that have been perpetuated against investors in this town, not the actual act of talking about it and exposing it for what it was and who was responsible. I still believe that to this day. Covering things up only empowers more corruption and fraud. Years ago one could try to talk about fraud on either of the two forums in San Carlos but often the forum moderators would close the thread or delete it all together. One of the forums apparently has become more tolerant on this subject than the other.
For decades the family name Ordaz has often become synonymous with words such as fraud, false charges, harassment, lying, cheating and stealing. More details are going to start to come out on this subject in the coming months. There are many many cases out there were Snowbird or Star Realty simply did not delivery what they were paid to deliver. I have been recently approached by two people who still do not have their trust for properties they purchased years ago. They are starting to sweat and now are scrambling to look for someone else to help them with their paper work. If this is your case please contact us and we may be able to refer you to someone who can help you clear up your paper work for you.
I also would like to say that residents of San Carlos and especially the real estate agents and land developers in the area (the honest ones that is) owe a special thanks to those who actually stood up to the Ordaz’s and refused to be taken by their fraudulent actions. Arguably the beginning of the end of the Ordaz real estate empire actually can be traced to several cases were individuals refused to be taken and spent endless amounts of time and money to fight not only corrupt individuals but a corrupt judicial system were the deep pocket is usually the one that wins. Of course sometimes justice is served no matter how deep ones pockets really are.
Carmen Ordaz has been indicted by an attorney general for the state of Sonora on the charge of falsification of legal documents. She was arrested the 30th of September and made bail the 15th of October.
Her bail supposedly was set at 5 million pesos but I have been unable to confirm that number but what ever the number was apparently it took a full two weeks to come up with bail. Catalina Ordaz was also arrested on the same day as Carmen (in relation to Costa Bella) but was not held in custody because she had obtained an amparo (injunction) previously. This amparo will only keep her from being arrested for around 60 days. When the amparo expires she may well then be indicted.
Bail was difficult for Ordaz to come up with for several reasons. One due to the new anti racketeering laws in Mexico; you have to show were the money is coming from. You simply can not show up with a suitcase full of unmarked 500 peso notes. You can be assured that Hacienda, Mexico’s IRS, was standing right at the jail house door asking were the money came from. The bail would have to be accounted for. Ordaz could put up properties that she owns as collateral for bail but there appears to be a small problem with that logistically. Sources have confirmed with us that since Ordaz knew she might be indicted she had a third party put liens on the most valuable of her properties so that they could not be taken from her easily. Now these very same properties could not be used as collateral for bail. She could have gone to a bail bondsman in Guaymas and borrowed the money but again with out being able to put up any lien free properties as collateral no bail bonds man in his right mind would touch her. She is a huge flight risk with good reason since her brother Javier has been in hiding for several years now trying to avoid exactly what is happening to his sisters. An ironic catch 22 if there ever was one. So Ordaz spent a full two weeks behind bars.
More information will come out in the coming weeks. In the end no matter what happens it is best for San Carlos that these cases get aired out in public once and for all. This case and others about to be reported on should serve as a warning. If you lie, cheat and steal here in San Carlos don’t expect to be able to easily get away with it anymore. If you do not get tried in a court of law promptly you will be tried in the court of public opinion. The internet has changed the game now on all of that. Do your due diligence before you invest in property or take on Mexican partners in a land development project. If the developer of Costa Bella would have done this, the project would be finished by now and all the lawyers involved in this case far poorer.
Below are some of the highlights from the posted documents which essentially say that there is ample evidence to back up the accusations against Ordaz and that it is now her turn to provide evidence to the court that will prove that she is not guilty of the charges against her.
El C. Agente Investigadora del Ministerio Publico del ?Guero Comun del Sector dos de esta cuidad consigno la Averiguacion Preva numbero A.P. 207/14, insturida en contra de Maria del Carmen Ordaz Aguiar por su probable responsibilidad en ls comision de delitos de Falsificacion de Documentos.
The Researcher Agent C. For the District Attorney of Sector two of this city assigns the investigation number AP 207/14, evidenced against Maria del Carmen Ordaz Aguiar for her alleged responsibility in the commission of crimes of Forgery of Documents.
Se ordena solicitar las antecedentes penales de la hoy procesada Maria del Carmen Ordaz Aguiar por los delitos de Falsification de documentos
It is ordered today to apply for the criminal record of Maria del Carmen Ordaz Aquiar to be processed on charges of Falsification of documents.
So for all those who have been swindled by an Ordaz and those who have stood up, for all you do, the following documents below are for you.
Rueben made a big deal about his resignation as Comisario a few weeks ago and the story got picked up by the local media for about 10 seconds, the normal amount of time that people in Guaymas pay attention to the bullshit that goes on here San Carlos. Here is a copy of his letter of resignation.
In it he states that he is tired of hearing complaints about problems in San Carlos, no shit really? He states that he has repeatedly asked for help from the Mayor and the Mayor simply blew him off, no shit really? He states how he has no budget. Well of course he has no budget. The budget for San Carlos was already set when he was illegally appointed Comisario. Did he think that they, the city council and mayor would some how magically conjure a new budget that was already approved by the city council just because he was appointed Comisario.
Look the reality is that Reuben took the job of Comisario, just like his predecessor Susarey, because he figured there would be some kind of benefit from being Comisario. What ever that benefit was it no longer exists and thus he resigned.
Not because he has some high altruistic tendencies. The CEA water company meeting at Charly’s Rock was informative on how Ruebens stint as comisarioe might go. Rueben didn’t invite Mexicans to the meeting because he knew they would laugh him out of office if he proposed that they pay extra to fix the sewage system here. But Rueben still lives in a San Carlos dated sometime in the early 90’s where highly altruistic Americans were actually quite happy to pay extra to get projects completed. There are parts of San Carlos that over the last few years have achieved good things with private money. Loma Bella is one of them. They raised 600,000 pesos to pave their road. But it seems that Reuben was incapable of organizing projects like that. but I regress…..
Anyone who thought Rueben Pinto was going to get anything done as Comisario was kidding themselves. The San Carlos scene is actually most likely worse now than when he became Comisario. As far as police stopping locals for bribes go I can almost guarantee that from what I have observed and what people have been telling me it is as bad as ever on the street out there. People are getting extorted left and right by the cops. Don’t think that 100 pesos sticker you bought from the cops is a get out of mordida free card, because it ain’t!!
I remember when Reuben wrote his horribly constructed letter to the governor and posted it on the Viva board. Those of us who have worked for the last several years trying to make San Carlos it’s own municipo knew the letter would go unanswered.
What the Citizens Movement here in San Carlos did and is still doing will in the end be far more important for San Carlos. The paper work the local committees have produced will be delivered within a few weeks at most to the state legislature. This paper work has been written up by lawyers. It will petition the state legislature to vote on whether San Carlos can be it’s own Municipio. The state legislature and the Governor will almost certainly blow that letter off as well but that will be their big mistake because then we can if we so desire start a legal battle that will end at the Mexican Supreme Court. It would takes years for this to go through but it is a true legal pathway.
It is depressing and unfortunate when you come to the realization that you will fail in something that you have put a great deal of effort into. I.F. Stone said it best when he stated,
The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.
My wonderful wife even stepped up to the plate and tried to make a positive change here in San Carlos. She did everything by the book to become a legal and serious candidate for Comisario of San Carlos. She was completely stifled by, Lorenzo Decima just another corrupt politician in a long line of corrupt politicians out of Guaymas. She was not even considered for the post. They threw her paperwork in the trash. Lorenzo as we all know eventually chose an alcoholic dinosaur for the post.
But all good things must come to an end and thus I have to admit that in Mexico we simply do not have institutions with sufficient strength to hold government corruption accountable. Think Ayotzinapaon that one! There is one place were someone or some institutions can make a difference. And that would be the environment. Think Zip Line towers at the Estero del Soldado. That was a win for us!! So I will be focusing my time on my non profit WorldsAquarium and issues of conservation. In less than one month our Non Profit will be sponsoring it’s first Sea Lion Disentanglement program up north in Rocky Point. I am hitting people up for donations on that program so click here or the link above this sentence for more info or to donate.
I still plan on blogging and will continue to produce an occasional video or two on local politics and interesting stories but my main focus is gonna be on our 501 C3 non profit WorldsAquarium and the marine environment here. We can do good things I think in the area of conservation.
Politically speaking, and let me be frank here, we are totally screwed unless the people of San Carlos do a couple of things.
If San Carlos residents want a bigger portion of their property taxes to stay in San Carlos, so they can be used to improve the town, they will have to stop paying them to the City of Guaymas.
Yes that is right. What the locals have to do, especially the Gringos is to stop paying property taxes to the government. What they can do is pay their taxes into a trust or simply not pay at all. We will explain to the City of Guaymas that no one, especially the gringos, (because Mexicans don’t really pay their property taxes on time if ever), will be paying taxes until there is an agreement between the city and the tax payers that at least, let’s say 50% of the revenue comes back to San Carlos. It needs to be negotiated but if there is one thing that Guaymas understands it is gringo property taxes. They love us gringos because we pay taxes on time. Even if we don’t have to!!
What you gringos need to remember is that Mexicans don’t pay their property taxes for many many years. The government can’t take their property because that is agains the Mex. Constitution.
Now when a Mexican developer wants to sell the property he has not paid taxes on for 10 years or more he negotiates a sweet heart deal with the city and pays penny’s on the dollar so that he can sell his property legally. The city is happy to get what ever they can from the Mexican property holder. That is the Mexican way. Remember again that us Americans have a trust and the bank doesn’t give a shit if you don’t pay your property taxes. As long as your trust fees are paid the bank is a happy camper.
If Mexican residents want San Carlos to be it’s own Municipio they will have to take to the streets.
Yes that is my firm believe at this point. There are simply no institutions in Mexico that are strong enough to uphold citizens rights under article 39 of the Mexican Constitution. There is virtually no legal pathway to San Carlos becoming it’s own city quickly, with out civil protest in the streets.
The beauty of sailing in summer is the warm water of the Sea of Cortez. So with that in mind Dan from Colorado and Jim from Alaska, who now lives in Yuma had three perfect days of 8 – 10 knot winds and 80 degree water.
I will get the pictures posted shortly. I am actually doing mt first blog post with an Android smart phone and the WordPress app!
Any one who attended the CEA meeting at Charly’s Rock on the 25th of April should understand that they witnessed perhaps the greatest performance of Kabuki theater ever perpetuated in San Carlos. This meeting in some ways surpassed the meeting about 5 years ago when then mayor of Guaymas Otto Claussen came to San Carlos to talk to local residents. In that meeting we were told that we were getting new side walks, another scam, and that the electrical lines were going to go underground. More bull shit of course. There was so much verbal raw sewage spilled at this meeting that no amount of pumping could get rid of. And certainly not a pump installed by CEA!
This meeting was big on questions and complaints and short on solutions and answers. Here is what residents, Americans and the few Mexicans who found out about this meeting at the last minute alike can expect from this little get together. NOT MUCH!!
Efraim Soto is the CEA representative for San Carlos and also coincidentally is an ex comisario for San Carlos. Does anyone remember the arson/rottweilers fiasco in the ranchitos when Efraim was comisario? After his stint as comisario he got a cushy job working for CEA and has been there for several years now. I have met Efriam on many occasions and I can tell you that Efraim speaks better fucking English than I do, and certainly cleaner. His refusal to speak English at this meeting was a tactical decision on his part to make the meeting more complicated and far less transparent. His refusal to speak English is the most cowardly thing I have seen by a government official with my own two eyes in a long long time. I have been here 27 years.
What people should understand is that CEA knows exactly what is going on here. They know all the spots were raw sewage is spilling out all over San Carlos into the desert and the Ocean. They know that they loose over 50% of the water they pump through the pipes because of leaks. They are not completely incompetent. They are corrupt though and have been purposely robbing Gringos blind for years with complete and utter impunity.
That was a scam, plain and simple. People didn’t have leaks and there was nothing wrong with their water meters. Remember mostly what CEA pumps is fucking air. Air makes the meter spin, even if you have one of those air vents, which many don’t have.
Now two years later all those water meters are now being replaced yet again. And everyone knows how shitty the work was on the replacement meters. A very large percentage of the new 2017 meters have experienced leaks because the private company hired to change them are incompetent. Thousands of liters of water have been leaked into the desert here because this private company is doing a shitty job. I have been informed that the company, remember private company, that installs the new mandated meters receives 25 pesos per water meter which if true means they want to replace them as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible. I asked at this meeting if that was true. I got no response from the water company representatives. Just imagine the kickbacks to the government from the private company who has the contract to install these meters. As a matter of fact there were almost no straight answers from any of the questions posed to them from local residents. By the way the reason that was given for changing the meters is that all meters are supposed to be of the same design and that everyone is now supposed to have a water meter. Of course if these guys had any brains they would leave existing new meters in place and start installing meters on properties that have none. There were many logical questions asked during this meeting. There were no logical answers given back.
Gringos you all need to understand this. Your new comisario just tried to take you for the ride of your life, and he was applauded for it!!
Get this, at the beginning of the meeting Rueben Pinto our illustrious and illegitimate comisario had this great solution to the water/sewage problem here. We the local residents should form a committee that would put together funding to pay for upgrades in the water/sewage infrastructure. Then, with the help of our fantastic comisarios wonderful Trump like deal making and negotiating abilities, we would be able to get the Maldita CEA, our wonderful water company, to reimburse us for what we spent. Wholly fuck what a line of bullshit!! That idea went over about as well as Donald Trump showing up uninvited at Pena Nieto’s daughters quinceañera. Most people saw through that line of bull shit almost immediately.
Rueben Pinto wanted to have Americans fix the water system and then hopefully be reimbursed by the water company
A rather astute women in the audience shouted out, in a far more civil tone than what was running through my mind, what do we pay taxes for? Exactly, what do we pay our water bill for? So not only are we supposed to pay more for our water bill we have to anti up to fix the screwed up infrastructure and hope the state pays us back? It goes to show you exactly how far out of touch with the community our dedazo comisario is. This idea that the rich gringos should pay extra to fix our water problems is old school San Carlos politics bullshit at it’s worse. It is actually pretty racist in fact. Either Ruben doesn’t know or forgot about the last time American residents put up funds to fix San Carlos infrastructure. Does anyone remember the road paving fiasco organized by Viva San Carlos forum Nazi George Gadspy? Does everybody remember how that came out?
I pretty much now understand why no Mexicans were formally invited to this meeting even though several showed up. I myself invited a few friends that had no idea this meeting was taking place and I can tell you they were livid by the end of it.
The entire meeting was filmed and posted on you tube yet it is completely unedited so it would be a waste of time to watch the whole thing but if you want a good laugh you should check out some of it for sure. I have to admit that I left early, before Carmen Ordaz went up before the crowd and gave some kind of speech. I was told by a good friend, one of the few Mexicans there, that her speech amounted to nothing but “Pendejadas”. I was also told that Edgar Alán Jaramillo Pérez showed up. Jaramillo is the secretary to the mayor of Guaymas and is one of the biggest crooks to ever hold the office. Jaramillo and Guaymas mayor Lorenzo DeCima’s approval rating in Guaymas are probably on par with the Donald. Very low not good that is. These guys have run perhaps the most inept Municipal administration in over a decade. That is not my opinion by the way, that is the opinion of most of Guaymas. The current mayor and his secretary will be out of office in one year and a half yet our Comisario thinks he can make a deal with them to insure they will “pay back” the poor sucker gringos who by into this bullshit and fork up some serious green backs to fix the water/sewage problems in San Carlos?
I thank God I left this theatrical event early and didn’t have to listen to whatever came out of Alán Jaramillo’s mouth. If I were the comisario I wouldn’t want to be seen in the same room with that guy let alone try to make a deal regarding funding pay backs.
The above video is a 6 minute clip of Ruben Pinto pitching his idea for Americans to pay the bill for repairs.
The most amazing thing of all is how Ruben now seems to be a hero to all these people who showed up at the meeting. As I left he was receiving an ovation for all his hard work. And why is that? Because he is gonna write a letter to the governor, because he wants to try to work a deal with corrupt government officials!! Wholly Fuck!! I have heard it all now. Are the Americans in this town so naive as to think that a letter with a few gringo signatures on it is going to effect public policy. Last time I checked gringos didn’t have the right to vote in Mexico. And guess what, there are perhaps 2500 registered Mexican voters in San Carlos. There are 150,000 people in Guaymas. Probably 100,000 or more of them are registered to vote. The governor nor the mayor of Guaymas need not care at all in the least about San Carlos. This has been demonstrated for decades here.
There is one way forward for San Carlos. Local Mexicans have to wake up and start caring about their town. Thats right, local Mexicans! People need to wake up and understand a few things. Mexicans need to exercise their constitutional rights guaranteed them via Article 39. Which states very clearly that San Carlos can change it’s form of government any time it wants. At one moment during the meeting a resident asked why do we have to pay for water that we don’t use. In other words we have traditionally been charged for 30 cubic meters of water even though we may only use 9 or 10. Well the answer from Efraim was not complete bullshit but he was not honest either. Efraim said we are charged like that because it is the law. What he failed to mention is that even though CEA is a state organization it is the city of Guaymas that decides the billing and pricing. So the law could be changed easily to only pay for the water that you use. Another local resident said to me that he has no problem paying his water bill. The problem is that he never has any water. He has gone weeks without water and his wife is suffering from colon cancer.
First off what the CEA and the government in general understands is essentially one thing. MONEY!! These ass holes understand that really well. Now if you really want these son’s of bitches to listen to you there is a way and a really good way. Deny them the money. There is a legal mechanism for that called the Amparo. An Amparo is essentially an injunction. Here is how it works. If the government is denying you your rights then you can get an Amparo against them. Over the last two years my self and a group of activists have legally documented many of the frauds perpetuated by CEA and by the City of Guaymas against San Carlos residents.
With the documentation that I already have residents of San Carlos could legally use these documents to acquire an Amparo and stop paying their water bills to CEA. The money that would normally goes towards monthly payments could be put into a type of escrow account and when the Amparo has been litigated properly and the problem legally resolved then the money would be allocated to CEA. You want to fix the problem? That is the solution. A letter to the governor, a absolutely terribly written letter by the way, signed by a few gringos who can’t even vote ain’t gonna get it done. The same tactic could be used with our property taxes as well. The government understands one thing really well. Money. If it is denied to them they might actually try to solve the problem. But the one and only true solution to this problem is the simplest of all yet the hardest to do. San Carlos needs desperately to be it’s own municipality! If San Carlos were it’s own city it could manage the water itself with no state intervention. Guaymas is actually in the minority of City’s when it comes to water. Most municipalities manage the water themselves and don’t part it out to the state.
One questions I forgot to ask at the “meeiting”. What about all the people in the ranchitos that don’t pay a centavo for water? There are countless numbers of residents who after they were disconnected by CEA simply reconnected themselves. No repercussions what so ever! What they have is water service, sometimes, what they don’t have is that pesky fucking water bill to pay every month. Another thing I should mention as I wrap this up. You don’t have to allow CEA to change your meter. Many people told the private company hired by CEA to stay the fuck off their property and not to touch their water meter. I would have done the same thing but the bastards changed our meter while we weren’t home!
In the end CEA just simply refuses to fix our water problems because they funnel the money into the pockets of the high level officials that work for the CEA and who knows where else. Water in the desert is a precious resource. Unfortunately CEA doesn’t agree.
There are solutions to the problems that confront San Carlos. Unfortunately the current comisario of San Carlos nor the majority of Mexicans who live here in San Carlos are interested in enacting any of them.
The city of Guaymas has refused to acknowledge the residents of San Carlos once again. This is of course absolutely nothing new. You can see the abandonment of San Carlos all over town, it is not hard to find if you should decide to look. From the garbage all over the streets and beaches that local residents clean up themselves to the unfinished side walk with huge holes in it (next to Thrifty Ice Cream), to the SBPA that has spayed and neutered almost 10,000 animals, to the endless pot holes on the road
to Loma del Mar. The Loma del Mar road is particularly interesting of late. A local unemployed almost entrepreneurial resident named David, originally from Chiapas, has decided to give himself a job. He has been working for tips and filling pot holes on the Loma del Mar road. Whether you like his work or not you have to admire his effort. He created a job for himself based on the absence of municipal responsibility. Just another fine example of local residents having to fill the shoes and pot holes of an almost completely absent government.
In the fall of 2016 local San Carlos residents began what can be called a grand experiment in Mexican civics. It has been around 23 years since San Carlos residents actually participated in the process of choosing someone to represent the Comisaria of San Carlos in Guaymas. By the 2nd of November Maria Ines Orozco announced her candidacy for Comisario of San Carlos. She spent a great deal of time
fulfilling the requirements to be a legitimate candidate for the office. In the third week of November the paper work was delivered to the Palacio in Guaymas. Actually the paper work was delivered to three offices. The office of the mayor, the secretary to the mayor and the office of the city council. The city of Guaymas did not respond. They did not even have the common decency to respond to a native local raised in Guaymas since the age of three and who’s family have been respected residents for decades. I guess she and her family simply don’t have enough money to be paid attention to in the normal fashion. It is sad to report these facts but it is non the less necessary that residents of San Carlos understand that local politicians in Guaymas are so completely used to abusing the rights of citizens that they continue to shit all over their own constitution and deny even themselves what the Mexican constitution guaranteed them.
So much blood lost over what is essentially an incredible document. My local friends have educated me greatly on the Mexican constitution. I have written a bit about this wonderful document. Especially the part on Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution. Article 39 states clearly that the power of the pueblo resides in the people and that the people can change their form of government anytime they wish to do so. On the second of November Maria Ines Orozco delivered a document to the city of Guaymas based on her inalienable right as a Mexican citizen. The document she delivered represented the blood and sacrifice of over one million Mexicans who died during the decade long battle of the Mexican Revolution. Out of all the officials from the city of Guaymas, the mayor Lorenzo DeCima, the secretary of the mayor Alan Jaramillo Perez and the entire 22 city councilman and women of Guaymas, not one official responded to the paper work that was delivered. This is how little Guaymas cares about San Carlos, the cash cow that just keeps on giving. Once again the city is in violation of the law but in a country where 95% of crime goes unsolved what is the difference? On the 9th of December (document pictured at left) a formal Denuncia was delivered to the office of “Organo de Control y Evaluacion Gubernamental” located at the palacio in Guaymas. On the 13th of December this same document was also delivered to the “Secretaria de La Contraloria General” in Hermosillo. Ines will eventually speak with Susana Corella, our local federal diputado in Guaymas. It is very likely she will also speak directly to the Governor of Sonora, Claudia Pavlovich. This is a political issue and it is clear that the PAN mayor of Guaymas is in violation of the law. The PRI Governor of Sonora has jailed the last PAN Governor for massive money laundering of federal funds and thus she has established herself as one of Mexico’s ultimate anti corruption governors. I don’t recall the exact amount of money Sonora ex PAN governor Guillermo Padres stole but it is surely in the 10’s of millions of dollars. It is certainly not unreasonable to believe that the current PRI government in Hermosillo will find it very interesting that a PAN mayor, with no past political experience, is denying citizens their constitutionally guaranteed right to self governance of great interest. Maria Ines belongs to no political party and this citizens movement has been completely apolitical up until now but that is gonna change. It seems inevitable that there will be a fight between the two strongest political parties in Mexico over this little bitty Comisaria called San Carlos.
Thus begins what will undoubtedly be a long legal battle that local residents have begun. One local activist is currently in Mexico City consulting constitutional lawyers and preparing the way for the legal battle that lies ahead. It is not hard to imagine that this case could end up in front of the Supreme Court of Mexico. It is fundamental in it’s simplicity regarding Article 39. As I mentioned before it has been decades since residents in San Carlos got politically active. What is clear to me is that this movement will not go away just because the political powers that reside in Guaymas refuse to acknowledge the rights of San Carlos residents. There is a core group of activists that will not let this go and that group is growing. It will take time but I believe eventually a judge will have no other choice but to rule in favor of local residents. If they should refuse that menas modern Mexican politicians from Guaymas continue to deny the blood shed of the revolution itself and what a decade of fighting was really for.
Here is a link to the to the interview Ines, Liliana and Juan Carlos gave to Mega Cable on the 18th of November. It is interesting to note the questions that were asked of the group by the journalist conducting the interview. It was rather clear who this bullshit MegaCable news network bows down to. Guaymas media is perhaps the yellowest in the country. So many Mexicans from San Carlos and Guaymas have lost site over what their revolution really stood for. Some of them are slowly waking up.
As all of us locals know there are an awful lot of dog lovers in San Carlos. And as many of us also know dog napping is a harsh reality here. That is why I couldn’t let this one go and decided to write a brief story about Paco. On a Friday night, the 9th of December to be exact Paco was frightened by a rather large fire works display over in the Sector Creston. Not far from the new restaurant Chihuahua’s. As many dogs do during fireworks displays Paco bolted. His owners spent the better part of two and half days looking for him. All over San Carlos. They even spoke to a local police officer and gave him a description of Paco. The local cop mentioned that he had heard a guy in Santa Clara had a dog matching Paco’s description last seen in the back of his truck. So my wife Ines actually did a little digging and found the person the police officer was talking about in San Clara. He didn’t have Paco. He was a bit amazed that someone from San Carlos had even gone all the way to Santa Clara to hunt him down to ask. Dog lovers will all understand this, when a friends dog is missing there is little a real friend won’t do to hunt down a missing dog. There is no doubt that Paco ran away of his own free volition. Why it took so long to find him, two and a half days, and where he was found adds quite a bit of doubt as to what was really going on here.
Official dog-napping stats seem a bit hard to find but there are plenty of web sites out there that discuss the issue and how to prevent it. Dog-napping in the U.S. became against the law officially with the passage of The Animal Welfare Act of 1966. Prior to that a great majority of dog-napping cases seem to have been perpetuated by the medical research field. Apparently it is against the law in Mexico as well. Paco certainly wouldn’t be the first dog to be napped in San Carlos. Many will remember the case of Lucky, who was stolen from his owners car that was parked on the east side of the condominums Pilar over by the Estero El Soldado. Lucky’s owner spent a great deal of time and money to get the dog back. The people that had Lucky made a cool two grand on the deal, no questions asked. I have to wonder if Paco was being held for a reward as well.
After two and half days of frantic searching, face book posts and hundreds of flyers Paco was found via a facebook tip off. Where he was found is what makes me think there was something nefarious going on. Paco was found in an non occupied house on a back street in Via’s de San Carlos. The house had a high fence around it. Paco could have never gotten into the yard of this house by himself. He had to be purposely put there. There was also no other way for him to get out unless someone unlocked the gate, or someone actually picked him up and handed him over to someone on the other side of the gate. That is actually how Paco got out. His owner had to jump the gate pick him up and hand him over to someone on the other side. Remember this house has no one living in it and the gate was locked. As of the printing of this article we don’t know the name of the owner of the house. It is rumored that the owner is a local cop. We are looking into who is the owner of the house on paper via the office of the Catastral in Guaymas.
I think it is pretty clear that who ever found Paco was interested in either stealing him or waiting for the posting of a reward. Was it the cops? Just for giggles I am gonna spend a little more time on this, but bottom line is watch your dog! It might not be a bad idea to invest in one of those GPS tracking collars. That is probably more cost effective and far less stressful than posting flyers all over town and of course in Facebook in hopes of finding him, and then possibly paying a “reward” that is really better called a ransom. Dog nappers are out there!
Lets start this post off with some simple numbers! San Carlos pays no less than 100 million pesos a year to Guaymas in the form of property and other taxes. Actually I have been told that it is probably closer to 150 million pesos annually. San Carlos got back this year 8.5 million pesos. Anyone who thinks this is fair needs to have their head examined! San Carlos is a designated Comisiaria Turistica but you would hardly know that if you looked at the quantity of garbage that is left to rot on our beaches and streets. A lot of people have had enough, grass roots are growing here.
The job of the comisario is to represent the interests of the residents of San Carlos. All residents, Mexican, American, Canadian, etc.
Was our last comisario doing that? Representing all residents of San Carlos? I can tell you that he was not and I would venture to say that many of the past comisarios with exceptions have not really represented the interest of San Carlos. Instead comisarios usually represent the interests of the mayor and the city council. Which often leads to negative out comes for San Carlos. The majority of comisarios in the past have not even been elected in the proper manner and have been “chosen” by the mayor of Guaymas in a manner that is completely illegitimate. Let me be clear. Guaymas does not want a comisario that represents the residents of San Carlos because; Guaymas, usually the mayor, wants and chooses along with the blessing of the 22 city council members a comisario who will shut up and do what they are told.
The comisario of San Carlos is never allowed by the city of Guaymas to petition the state or federal government for the funding of infrastructure. Of course this is precisely what the job of the comisiario is. Guaymas wants none of that! That is why we do not have a comisario at the moment and why local activists have taken it upon themselves to get the ball rolling. This is completely within the rights of all Mexicans. I refer back to Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution for anyone who doubts that local residents have the authority to choose candidates for comisario.
Several weeks ago members of various action committee’s publicly posted what is called a “Convocatorio” or public announcement in spots all over San Carlos. This public announcement calls upon anyone interested in being a prospective candidate to please submit for review their “work plan” among other requirements. A list of the requirements to be a candidate for comisario can be found here.
My wife Maria Ines Orozco Ontiveros has decided to be a candidate. Considering the fact that I am not going to be terribly objective on my opinion, I will go ahead and say it anyway. I don’t know if there is a more honest person in this town for the job than her. If anyone would like to sign her letter of support you can find a copy of this letter at the Athletic Club San Carlos!
Two weeks ago I was asked by Charlie Woehr a resident at the Costa Del Mar to translate for him during a meeting with his lawyer. Charlie was looking for a lawyer to help him out with the continual problems he has had with the CDM HOA board of directors. He was originally going to speak to a lawyer I had never heard of and then it dawned upon me that he should speak to Alvaro Romero. Alvaro Romero is a local lawyer from Guaymas who is now an expert on HOA law in Sonora as well as an expert on the many shady occurrences that happen in regards to the Costa Del Mar HOA. He became an expert on this subject by taking on several cases, and winning them by the way, for another CDM resident who also is disillusioned, for good reason, with the CDM HOA.
Charlie has a specific problem with the HOA that has caused him much stress. And here in itself is a very large issue. Most people who retire to Mexico would like to lead a stress free life. And actually after a conversation with Alvaro the lawyer this is really what the HOA should do for residents within a community. A properly functioning HOA should make life less stressful for residents, not more stressful. This was made clear to me by Alvaro the lawyer.
Why is Charlie upset with the HOA? Well the current problem stems from the fact that Charlie has his boat parked out in front of his house at the moment. According to Charlie this pissed off Ken Unrein, a current board member. So last year that board member tried to write a new bylaw that says you can’t park a boat in front of your house. Now after reviewing all the information Charlie put forth to Alvaro the lawyer the HOA did not properly pass this by law. But for the sake of argument let’s just say that the HOA did in fact get this new by law about parking boats in front of your house legally put into the by laws of the HOA.
The problem is this.The streets at Costa del Mar are public streets. I am sure many who might read this article and live at CDM are going to disagree with me on that but the fact of the matter is I have painstakingly researched this. I have spoken to inspectors for Control Urbano/ Urban Planing in Guaymas and other lawyers besides Alvaro. The streets of Costa del Mar are in fact public streets. To all of you CDM residents out there who doubt that, you are completely within your right’s to believe what ever you wish to believe. You simply are not correct in your belief but more power to ya. Just because your community is gated and you all paid for the streets to be so nice don’t mean ya own the streets!
Now just because the roads are public though doesn’t mean anyone can simply drive a boat into the CDM and park it in front of some one else’s house. Within Sonoran state law there exists preferential rights for those who live in the Costa del Mar in regards to the streets. Costa del Mar residents should and do have preferential treatment in regards to the streets since they live there. So what that means is that Charlie has according to Sonoran State Law all the right in the world to park his boat in front of his house. No CDM by law can trump a Sonoran state law and no Judge in Sonora can tell him he can’t park his boat there. I forget at the moment how much money in fines the CDM HOA is trying to charge Charlie for legally parking his boat in front of his house. I know it is in the thousands of pesos now and might even be in the 10’s of thousands but what ever the fines the HOA are attempting to impose upon him there is absolutely no reason for Charlie to pay those fines. The HOA has not one legal leg to stand on, and that is from a lawyer who has already beaten the HOA board of directors in several law suits. The HOA can not levy fines against anyone for parking their boat in front of their house. For all those HOA bully’s out there all I can say is welcome to Mexico and Mexican law!! Now the same goes for any lot owner who wishes to sell his lot but is not currently up to date on their HOA fees. The HOA can not stop anyone from legally selling their property because of a lack of payment of HOA fees.
Now that in itself is interesting but here is the real bomb shell. During the consultation with the lawyer Alvaro asked me to ask Charlie one simple question. Do you enjoy living at the Costa del Mar? The clear answer for Charlie was a resounding no and what Alvaro explained to him exactly described what I have written about before and that is HOA syndrome. Alvaro described the situation as so. What the HOA has tried to do is form it’s own kingdom with its own rules. And up until recently it has gotten away with much of that agenda. But over the last few years residents have started to seriously look at what is going on out there and to state it mildly are mad as hell and not going to take it any longer.
Alvaro was specific in regards to how the HOA manages it’s monthly dues payments. Remember the HOA is a non profit organization. As such at the end of each year if the HOA has not spent all the money it has taken in then by law they need to return that money to residents. The HOA to the best of my knowledge does not nor has ever done this. They take the extra money that is left over at the end of the year and put it into interest drawing saving’s accounts. Usually in the name of someone on the board of directors. It is Charlie’s contention that Ken Unrein has many different HOA saving’s accounts in his name. No one really seems to know for sure how many accounts there are and how much money is in these accounts since there is a complete lack of transparency out there in this regard.
Now the real bomb shell is this. Alvaro asked a few very sincere questions to Charlie. The first question was this.
When you bought your house at Costa del Mar did anyone ask you if you wanted to join the HOA? The answer of course was no. Are you all ready for the bombshell?
It is not mandatory to be a member of the HOA! It is simply assumed that if you purchase a lot or house that you must be a member but in fact it is not mandatory! Now the fact of the matter is that since Charlie has been paying his monthly HOA fees he has unwittingly joined the HOA even though he has never signed any agreement of membership with them.
The second question is the biggest bombshell of all.
Would you like to no longer be a member of the Costa del Mar HOA?
Charlie answered a resounding yes to this question posed by Alvaro the lawyer. Alvaro explains it very simply. According to Mexican law no one can force you to be a member of an association. Especially if that same association is trying to bully and harass you by making you pay fines that they can not legally impose on you! So all you have to do is write a letter to the HOA board of directors and ask them to vote you out of their HOA! It is that simple. Now if the board of directors refuses to honor your request then you file a formal law suit against them and eventually a judge will have no choice but to rule in your favor. Since as Alvaro has explained it, no one can force you to be a member of any association if you no longer wish to be a member. Boy isn’t the law interesting when you truly understand it.
I wonder how many residents are going to opt out of the CDM HOA once they realize that they don’t have to belong to it?
On Thursday the 29th of September a “Narcotambo” or 55 gallon sealed container was found left on 9th street in Guaymas. The duct taped sealed container was left by a drug cartel and had a message taped to the outside of it. There was a body inside. This would be the second time in two weeks that a drug cartel has left a message on the streets of Guaymas. Last week there was two Narcomantas found in Guaymas. On was left on the bridge to Mira Mar and it is unclear where the other was found. There seem to be few media reports of these incidents and it is sometimes very hard to find a report on the exact words that were written in these messages. Things seem to be getting worse in Guaymas at the moment and that means things are probably worse here in San Carlos as well.
Screen Shot below is from Uniobregon a web site with more info on the name of the victim who was found inside the container. It is reported below that the victim was tortured before he was shot and then dismembered. The message on the container is reported to say that if local authorities do not stop their operations in the region someone will be executed everyday.
I endlessly think about San Carlos financials and in my desire to inform locals I am starting to frame my speech on San Carlos financials in a different manor but before I get to the soap box I think it important to reveal what one of my good friends and advisor to the Comite Pro Municipio 73, Victor Parra Maldonado divulged to us in a meeting last week that really put some things into perspective “for all of us who have been on the; San Carlos needs to be it’s own city/Municipio band wagon for a few years now.”
And you can believe that this info is now firmly rooted in my speech. It goes something like this, and just to be clear Mexico has 2440 municipios or municipalities divided between 31 states, according to Wikipedia, and it is important to note that San Carlos is technically a Comisaría which translates to Police Station in Spanish. So yes we all live in a police station here in San Carlos. Point being that San Carlos is not it’s own city.
I got my hair cut at Maru’s the other day so I had a chance to give my speech while sitting on the throne, it goes something like this.
me: Ya that means that the ultimate authority in San Carlos is now none other than the Comandante. Comandante in Spanish directly translates to fucking corrupt chief of police. (Donal Trump is the master of few words so after I say that I usually say something like) NOT GOOD NOT GOOD!
me: Take a guess at how much money San Carlos pays to Guaymas each year via tax revenues, alcohol permits, ect…..100 million pesos a year minimum, yep that is right residents of San Carlos pay 100 million pesos a year in taxes to Guaymas and do you know how much San Carlos gets back from that?
recipient of my speech: No……..
me: We get back around 8.5 million pesos depending on how much money Guaymas steals from our budget. Now lets count to 10, that is easy right. In ten years San Carlos has paid $1,000,000,000 that is billion with a capital B mind you pesos to Guaymas. Now look around you and tell me if you see $1,000,000,000 pesos worth of investment in San Carlos? (At this point you can usually start to see a range of emotions in the eyes and or facial expressions of the speech recipient. I have seen rage, disgust, indignation, cynicism and anger, sometimes all at the same time)
Now what is new in my speech is what Victor uncovered just a couple of weeks ago while he was doing research on comisarías in Mexico. And this is truly interesting. San Carlos is the only comisaría in the whole country, yes in all 31 states and 2440 municipalities San Carlos is the ONLY Comisaría Touristicain the whole damn country!
San Carlos is the only comisaría in the whole country, yes in all 31 states and 2440 municipalities San Carlos is the ONLY Comisaría Touristicain the whole damn country!
Now I have yet to find out how many comisarías there are in Mexico but the fact that we are the only one that has a tourist designation means that we, San Carlos are the most important comisaría in the whole nation. What that also means is that ever other tourist designated area in Mexico is it’s own city. Which means they keep their taxes and they administrate their area with no meddling from other areas. In my speech on municipios I always include this little tid bit about the Valley of Orizaba down in the great and unfortunately very violent state of Vera Cruz. I have a good friend down there who lives in Orizaba, a town that is located at the base of North Americas third largest peak, a mountain well worth the climb! The valley is spectacular and is about 25 kilometers long. About the distance between San Carlos and Guaymas. Now get this, within these 25 kilometers there are 18 different municipios! That is hard to imagine really, from here to Guaymas you would travel through 18 distinct cities, each with it’s own police force, court house ect.
Which leads me to finally say what the hell is San Carlos waiting for. Then I get the standard reply from at least 50% of my speech recipients which is.
Guaymas will never allow San Carlos to be it’s own city!
My reply is simple when I am told that. Read Article 39 of the Mexican Constitution. It is enlightening. It states pretty much that any pueblo or small town can say fuck you to who ever is repressing them and change their form of government when ever they decide. It is an inalienable right. I have yet to have a speech recipient disagree with me.
Lorenzo DeCima and all the crooked city council members in Guaymas may not understand this yet but there is a perfect storm brewing in San Carlos and there is a call for a new comisiario. One who is choosen by the people of San Carlos for the people of San Carlos, a comisario who will represent the people of San Carlos and one who will actually have a reasonable budget proposal that aims to accomplish some modest improvements to the town. If these activists and the people of San Carlos get blown off yet again by Guaymas there might soon be a visit to the Governors office. Our Governor is PRI and Lorenzo is PAN.
It is not a far stretch to think that San Carlos, the most important Comisaría Touristicain the whole damn country might, just get a little more respect if it takes it’s case directly to the Governor. The Comite Pro Municipio 73 has a rather large file of all the things Guaymas is supposed to do legally for San Carlos yet refuses to do. The file grows each month and with each addition of information or abuse committed by Guaymas against San Carlos the legal justification for San Carlos becoming it’s own Municipio will become harder to deny.