The Show Down at Charly’s Rock
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.
I will remind everyone that it was about 3 years ago that CEA started sending people insanely large water bills and telling local residents that they either have a leak or their water meter was bad. Many of the gringo residents got these bills while they were out of town. Imagine that. You come back after leaving for summer and you find that your 350 pesos a month water bill is now 1500 a month, or more!! Hundreds if not thousands of water meters were replaced, most of them in perfect working order. All at the consumers expense by the way.
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.