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La Paz, great city to live, has a lot to offer no matter if for a national citizen or a foreign resident. This can all change pretty quick if you have to deal with authorities. Emphasize IT CAN, NOT MUST. No matter if police, immigration, CFE, TelMex or - as in that case here SAPA. - It always depends on the "day form" of the person you deal with or the level of competence and professionals you encounter.
There is no formula, many people for example, I hear have more negative experience with CFE and TelMex - mine is excellent, very cooperative and service oriented.. so go figure!
The core of this post however is very simple: How come SAPA can violate the Mexican constitution, ignore a Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice ruling, kick any international signed treaties with United Nations into the gutters and disconnect - not reduce - disconnect a handicapped persons water supply??
The individual, a expatriate, living like a hermit, since a few years limited in motion/handicapped and not capable to walk very far based on a health condition owes SAPA, he does not contest that fact at all.
He has had during the time the sum accumulated (less as 250,-$US) several engagements with SAPA operatives visiting the location / dwelling he rents.
Now during the years at the peninsula I had my run-in's with "sad" Baja stories and I'm very careful before I engage. What I write down here I have checked during a visit with person in question viewing documents presented. The individual has a load of filed invoices/paid receipts from CFE, SAPA, TelMex etc dating back to 2004 showing he addressed his obligations. It appears there was during spring of 2014 a series of unfortunate events (severe health/illness, none foreseen changes in professional field, all out of control that put individual in a economic hole as saying goes.
Hurricane Odile stomped on top of that.
There is no family or relatives here or up-road that could help out.
Person is in late 50's and does not appear to be a drinker or drug user, living in poor conditions, no luxury, electronics, transportation/vehicle
Because of limitations to move/walk income is created by writing code and other web-work. After hitting rock-bottom and starting clawing way back out of hole step-by-step the individual was never able to pay everything with SAPA at ones. The genuine inability to pay the full amount due is given by my opinion considering the circumstances.
Over a half year back-rent, ongoing cost of living, medical care was to address (and has been solved step by step according to receipts)
Smaller payments on amount due to SAPA offered was refused by SAPA operatives visiting the dwelling insisting on full payment.
At 7th of March SAPA removed the meter, disconnected water service total (see image) despite knowing the dwelling is occupied!!
The individual called SAPA and try to explain situation but obviously without success.
Phone records show a 20 some minutes connection with SAPA.
A Senora "Shoshi" (?) basically question statement of immobility/handicap - Certificado Medico is on hand plus plain and simple ones no need to be a medical professional to see the legs of this person do not function well.
Good enough to go to tienda 100 meters, no more.
It upsets me to see that there is no human compassion, no ethical compass and no moral capacity to address such an issue if the person in question reaches out and asks to find a feasible solution.
Talking 20 minutes on the phone is sufficient enough to at least verify claims made.
The equivalent of "I have to look into that or send somebody out" is NOT sufficient if water service is disconnected
Not with the laws given but more important not by ethical and moral standards!
This situation stinks and therefore my statement SAPA sucks despite me personal had no bad experiences.
Cutting a handicapped persons water of, Mexican or expat, because of genuine inability to pay for sure impacts my opinion about them...
If there are any further question or interest to contact that individual get in touch with me HERE
Update 18th of May 2016
At the date of initial posting, 4th of May 2016 I have reached out per e-mail to:
SAPA via website mailform - besides an automated e- mail confirmation no response! (They promote their online presence)
To the major of La Paz Lic. Armando Martinez Vega - Presidente Municipal at email@example.com - no response
To a Lic. Salvador Salgado Gutierrez (was listed as coodinador de relaciones publicas) - no response
I did ask for comments regarding this situation - no response at all is a pretty poor reflection. So basically it boils down to the fact if you decide to relocate to La Paz, Baja California Sur and do have by an odd twist of life a difficult time: Do not count on any assistance. You are on your own!
Mexico 2012: -
The human right to water and sanitation is officially law in Mexico! The president of Mexico published an amendment to article 12 of the country's constitution. The amendment provides that every person in Mexico is entitled to affordable, accessible, and safe water in sufficient amounts for domestic uses.
Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice sets precedent on the human right to water and sanitation.The court establishes that the human right to water is violated if a person receives less than 100 liters a day, The Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico issued its judgment in Case No. 49/2014, determining that the constitutional and international obligations for the human right to water requires that each person receive "sufficient” water: 50-100 liters per person per day. The decision followed international standards set by the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and best practices.
The Court also found that each person has a right to sanitation. According to international human rights law, it was acknowledged by the Court that this should be understood as a system for the "gathering, transferring, treatment, and elimination or reusing of human excrement” and its respective component, protecting health and hygiene.
United Nations General Assembly - Mexico member since 7th of November 1945:
The Right to Water, or more accurately the Human Right to Water and Sanitation (HRWS), was recognised by the United Nations General Assembly on the 28 July 2010. "The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses", UN CESC - General Comment 15, para.2
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 2014:
Disconnections due to non-payment are only permissible if it can be shown that the resident is able to pay but is not paying. In other words, when there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections.
I reached out to a) SAPA b) City of La Paz c) Conaqua d) United Nations ICESCR with request to comment.
Editors Note: E. Krespo is a investigative e-journalist, freelance tech- and security equipment reports writer, member and/or freelance contractor with International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Deutsche Welle The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author
Battling virus - Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika - transmitted by mosquito’s, on old tire at the time. Clever and highly effective mosquito trap made from the pests' favorite breeding spot! Canadian innovation for killing mosquito eggs could help Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika fight. Researchers use mosquitoes' own perfume to lure them to lay eggs in trap.
A team of innovators from Canada and Mexico have successfully tested a low cost, environmentally-friendly way of destroying the eggs of the mosquito genus that spreads dengue, Chikungunya and the Zika virus.
The editor of this post has by the BCS health department a trap places which is regulary checked and new set by staff from that department.
During the last control the personal found dengue/chikungunya larva.
It might be an good idea to put self a trap up if you have problems with chemicals. Researchers found that 84 ovillantas placed in seven neighborhoods in the town of Sayaxche destroyed more than 18,000 Aedes larvae per month. That’s nearly seven times better than standard traps.
The devices also provide an answer - albeit a very small one - for one of the world’s most intractable waste-disposal problems: What to do with old tires. Moreover, the traps are inexpensive and relatively easy to make and the there’s an almost inexhaustible supply of materials available
The Federal Health Ministry said the lack of citizen participation to keep yards clean and avoid places where water can accumulate in puddles or dirty water is a factor to increase cases of dengue. "I have always said, that the reduction of cases at par and is proportional to the participation of the community, as a community and private institutions become involved it decrease dengue cases by the same proportion." said Garcia, Federal Minister of Health.
The following information is compiled from sources at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dengue - With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death. Dengue has emerged as a worldwide problem only since the 1950s. Although dengue rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America.
Chikungunya - chikungunya (pronunciation: \chik-en-gun-ye) virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas.
Zika - Local mosquito transmission of Zika virus infection (Zika) has been reported in Mexico. Local mosquito transmission means that mosquitoes in the area are infected with Zika virus and are spreading it to people. The mosquitoes that spread Zika usually do not live at elevations above 6,500 feet (2,000 meters) because of environmental conditions. Travelers whose itineraries are limited to areas above this elevation are at minimal risk of getting Zika from a mosquito. The following map shows areas of Mexico above and below 6,500 feet.
The device, known as an ovillanta (loosely translated, it’s Spanish for “tire for laying eggs”), to destroy the larvae of the Aedes, a genus of mosquito that carries the now-notorious Zika virus as well as the dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses.
For starters, the devices eliminate the need to use pesticides that can damage the environment and carry the risk of collateral damage to other insects - including those that eat mosquitoes.
The system includes an innovative designed trap created from two 50 cm sections of an old car tire, fashioned into a mouth-like shape, with a fluid release valve at the bottom.
Inside the lower tire cavity, a milk-based, non-toxic solution developed at Sudbury's Laurentian University lures mosquitoes. Inserted to float in the artificial pond is a wooden or paper strip on which the female insect lays her eggs. The strip is removed twice weekly, analyzed for monitoring purposes, and the eggs destroyed using fire or ethanol.
The solution, which now includes mosquito pheromone (the female insect's chemical perfume that helps others identify a safe breeding site), is then drained, filtered, and recycled back into the tire. The pheromone concentrates over time, making the ovillanta even more attractive for mosquitoes.
Want to make your own ovillanta cheap, easy, and have a successful solution to mosquitos carrying Dengue,Chikungunya and Zika virus? Have a look at the project's DIY video (in Spanish).
Baja Sur listed listed within the states showing a slight decrease in peace. While least peaceful states in Mexico showed the biggest improvement in peace, the most peaceful states showed a slight decrease in peace. Mexico has become more peaceful over the last three years due to a dramatic decrease in the number of homicides. The 2015 Mexico Peace Index shows a cautious yet optimistic view of peace in Mexico, with a 16% increase in levels of peace over the last three years. The trend towards peace is widespread with 26 of the 32 Mexican states becoming more peaceful over the last two years. The homicide rate fell by 30% in the last two years, largely driven by a decrease in organized crime. The least peaceful states in Mexico showed the biggest improvement in peace, while the most peaceful states showed a slight decrease in peace. The three factors that are most influential on peace in Mexico are: functioning of government, levels of corruption and good relations with neighbors. Although peace is improving in Mexico, it still remains the least peaceful country in Central America.
According to the National Statistics and Geography Institute (INEGI), 34.8% of the Mexican families revealed that at least one of the members were victims of a crime in 2013, that meaning, 10.7 million homes. Then, the perception of insecurity has caused a change on the daily acting of people.
Furthermore, the Peace Index of Mexico 2015, elaborated by experts from the Institute of Economics and Peace, specified that the level of peace in Mexico got better less than 1%, after three years of overcoming 15% and 23 states are even more violent than 12 years ago.
To further analyze the texture of peace in Mexico IEP has measured 76 of Mexico’s major cities to create the Mexico Metropolitan Peace Index. The Mexico Metropolitan Peace Index (MMPI) consists of two indicators: homicide rate and violent crime rate. This is a subset of the state level peace index, with homicide and violent crime being the only two indicators with the most applicable data at the metropolitan level.
The MMPI has used data from the three years from 2011 to 2013 and then averaged the data to create the index. Much of the media covering the increase in violence in Mexico over the past decade has focused on Mexican cities in the Border States, with a particular focus on the homicide.
Rate in these cities and how they compare to other violent metropolises from other countries.
Many publications, including some INEGI reports, have reviewed which cities in the world are the most violent, with Mexican cities being prominent amongst the rankings. However, these rankings of the most violent cities usually only focus on the homicide rate, which does not give a holistic picture of the level of violence in Mexican cities.
By combining violent crime and homicide it is possible to develop a more holistic picture of violence at the city level and identify which cities are
successful at maintaining peace.
Credit: Institute for Economics and Peace - Mexico Peace Index
Nepotism in Mexican congress. Are you surprised? 88 families have held control over 455 federal legislative positions during the last 81 years, a period in which when reelection to the legislature has been prohibited, according to an investigation by El Universal news outlet. Of these dynasties, 53 have been present for between nine and 18 years; and 35 between 21 and 57 years, according to an research by El Universal.
A group of 230 legislators that belong to the "castes" that have controlled Mexico's Congress since 1934 have survived to reforms and switched parties to remain in power. Many parliamentarians are candidates in the current electoral process, while others have their clan's seat secured through proportional representation.
Their political heritage lies in their lineage and surname, that open the doors of Congress and political power in general: Rojo-Lugo, Batres, Vicencio, Sansores, Monreal, Alcaine, Manatou, Martínez, Ortega, Padierna.
The biggest "brand" is the Vicencio family, from Xonacatlán de Vicencio, State of Mexico, a town that owes its establishment to Celso Vicencio, local congressman in 1870, the first legislator of the family.
It would be very interesting to do such an research in Baja Sur state government and the municipio of La Paz and Cabo San Lucas...... Somehow I got the feeling that the results will be very similar. The power is within a few names/clans, excessive nepotism and enrichment by connection at the cost of the general population. What else is new....
Find the original report at El Universal Newspaper
With a strong national culture and positive international relations marred by expanding cartel violence, we wanted to know, just how powerful is Mexico?
Mexico is poised to become Latin America’s economic star in the coming decade. The government’s recent reform of the energy sector will contribute directly to economic performance by reducing the cost of manufacturing.
In the context of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the resulting increase in manufacturing competitiveness promises to boost Mexico’s growth substantially.
None of this is to deny that Mexico still must confront other significant problems. For example, primary and secondary education needs improvements that the teachers’ unions are blocking, and criminal activity, much of it drug-related, makes personal security a serious concern throughout the country.
Mexico's poverty rate fell 0.6 percent between 2010 and 2012 to 53.3 million people, the government's social development agency Coneval said. Factoring in population growth, the ranks of the poor grew by half a million people in that time. That rise underscores the challenges President Enrique Pena Nieto faces as he tries to lift millions of people out of poverty and boost growth in Mexico, which has a huge wealth gap.
But, despite such problems, the energy and electricity reforms, and the deeper links with the US and Canada that they imply, promises to accelerate Mexico’s growth rate, boost employment and income, and thus raise Mexicans’ standard of living.
According to an report in El Universal Newspaper/website does the U.S. recommend avoiding Mexican casinos. At least that's in the headline. In reality did the U.S. Department of State issue yesterday a travel warning replacing the December warning.
The U.S. Department of State warned American citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country.
According to the latest travel warning casinos, sports books, or other gambling and adult entertainment establishments are "of particular safety concern".
It added that 81 U.S. citizens were murdered in Mexico in 2013 and 100 more last year, and that "more than 130 kidnappings of U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Mexico between January and November of 2014."
This report refers to data from 2013 - 2014. While in the State-by-State assessment Baja California Sur is specifically named listing Cabo San Lucas and La Paz one can expect it does not include the rescent events (shooting, murder, hand grenades at Malecon in La Paz) and also does not take in count the wave of killings occuring since fall of 2014 with the current count by local news paper "El Sudcaliforniano" in police report section stands at 83 murder victims in La Paz and surrounding.
La Paz Baja Sur Tuesday evening around 23:00hr - bursts of gunfire from AK-47 Kalashnikov's (el cuerno de chivo) and AR-15 assault rifles in combination with 9-millimeter pistol shots!
Baja California Sur's capital continues to be a location of growing violence!
The firefight that took place between Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and José María Morelos y Pavón streets got initiated when two men opened fire on federal security forces.
The men had been traveling in a truck on the malecón when navy officials, suspicious over the individuals’ behavior, ordered them to stop.
Instead of doing so, they opened fire on the officials and sped off. Following a pursuit and further gunfire, two men were arrested.
Three more were believed to be in the area so families were evacuated from their homes while police and military personal searched the area.
Business owners closed down their restaurants and bars and tourists fled the scene.
The perpetrators also threw two hand-grenades which failed to detonate. The grenades got at a later point of time collected by military personal and disarmed. One was discovered in front of the Hotel Perla, while the second was found near an Oxxo store.
Growing violence in Baja California Sur has recently prompted the BCS state congress to inquire with the attorney general and a senior law enforcement official on what steps are being taken to address security situation.
Although law enforcement officials have said the wave of violence is the result of a territorial dispute between drug cartels, Congressman Omar Antonio Zavala, who is also chairman of the Public Security Committee, blames it on structural problems, and the previous government.
Lack of security in the state is not a simple, passing phenomenon, he said, but the consequence of various diverse factors — economic, social, cultural, and security, and "indifference on the part of the previous government . . . ." The situation has worsened over time, making it more difficult to resolve.
CTV News, Canada's #1 private broadcaster with a wide range of quality news reported in November 2014 that the war among factions of the Sinaloa Cartel, named for the Pacific coast state where it was founded, had jumped the Gulf of California to Baja California Sur. But the cartel long battled the once-powerful Arellano Felix gang for control of drug routes on the Baja peninsula into the U.S. and is largely considered to have taken over the territory.
There are amateur live-recording / video of the shooting incident by residents here at the El Universal
website (In spanish)
This post is compiled with fragments from the Sudcaliforniano Newspaper, BCS Noticias and El Universal.
The translation may not be perfect and be used at your own discretion.
It's not "just regular" human rights violation - as committed daily also in La Paz, BCS - by municipal authorities. (Check back for our special this week) It goes further!
A new United Nations report detailing how torture is widespread among Mexico’s police and security forces. This report should prompt the authorities to address this sickening practice once and for all, said Amnesty International today.
The report from Juan E. Méndez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, was presented to the UN Human Rights Council today. It outlines how officials in Mexico often fail to investigate the complaints of torture victims and forensic doctors working for the government often ignore signs of torture.
The investigations into allegations of torture in Mexico are riddled with flaws. Internationally agreed guidelines such as the Istanbul Protocol on how to investigate torture are routinely ignored and often victims have to wait months or years to be examined. Documenting torture is the first step to break the wall of impunity,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director Amnesty International.
On 3 March, Mexico appointed Arely Gómez González as the new Federal Attorney General.
"Arely Gómez González has the opportunity to take a strong stance on torture. She must ensure victims have access to adequate forensic examinations by official experts who are autonomous from the Federal Attorney General’s Office, as the UN has pointed out today," said Erika Guevara-Rosas.
Yes, we - as of La Paz, respective a few individuals, are also on the specially designated nationals and blocked persons list released 19. November 2014 by the U.S. Treasury Department.
In December 1999 the U.S. government enacted the Foreign Narcotics Kingping Designation Act to deny drug traffickers, their related businesses and their operatives access to the U.S. financial system and to prohibit all trade transactions between the traffickers and U.S. companies and individuals.
I'm wondering what that means in reality.
Many people know them folks. I bought in there store in the past parts. So if I be an US citizen and bring my yacht (if I would have one - unfortunately my pocket-book start malfunction at super panga) to the Abaroa's marina or if I buy somethings in the Abaroa chandlery - do I violate that regulation and become subject of prosecution in the USA?
Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List November 19, 2014. This publication of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") is designed as a reference tool providing actual notice of actions by OFAC with respect to Specially Designated Nationals and other persons (which term includes both individuals and entities) whose property is blocked, to assist the public in complying with the various sanctions programs administered by OFAC. The latest changes to the SDN List may appear here prior to their publication in the Federal Register, and it is intended that users rely on changes indicated in this document. Such changes reflect official actions of OFAC, and will be reflected as soon as practicable in the Federal Register under the index heading "Foreign Assets Control." New Federal Register notices with regard to Specially Designated Nationals or blocked persons may be published at any time. Users are advised to check the Federal Register and this electronic publication routinely for additional names or other changes to the SDN List.
ABAROA DIAZ, Victor Manuel, c/o TIENDA MARINA ABAROA,
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico;
C. Antonio Navarro S/N, Col. Centro,
La Paz, Baja California Sur 23000, Mexico;
DOB 30 May 1955;
POB La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico;
Nationality Mexico; citizen Mexico;
R.F.C. AADV550530UQ0 (Mexico);
ABAROA FOX MARINE
(a.k.a. MATERIALES Y
Abasolo S/N, Col. El
Manglito, La Paz, Baja California Sur 23060, Mexico;
Leona Vicario 1000 E/Alvaro Obregon,
Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
Sur 23469, Mexico;
ABAROA PRECIADO, Aristoteles
ABAROA PRECIADO, Aristoteles Alejandro),
La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico;
ABAROA PRECIADO, Aristoteles Alejandro
(a.k.a. ABAROA PRECIADO, Aristoteles),
Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico;
DOB 29 Sep
ABAROA PRECIADO, Rosa Yolanda Nabila,
Ave. Mariano Abasolo S/N Barr,
La Paz, Baja
California Sur 23060, Mexico;
DOB 19 May
ABAROA PRECIADO, Victor Hussein,
La Paz, Baja California Sur
DOB 23 Jun 1978;
If you want to see the whole list with 937 pages of blocked persons and companies check it out here.
(Use the search feature >>> Ctrl+F on keyboard, to look up names or enterprises in that document
Of course you can also get you a copy direct at U.S. Department of the Treasury
Tropical Storm Odile, which made landfall as Category 3 hurricane, weakened as it made its way up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, after causing major damage to homes, roads and the area's airports at Baja California Sur and leaving 30,000 tourists stranded.
Of the 30,000 tourists that were stranded in temporary shelters in hotels, 26,000 are foreigners.
Past Monday, federal authorities announced that army and commercial planes would be flying them out from the La Paz and Los Cabos airports.
Several airports in the area, including the later, were damaged by Odile.
So far, 15,000 tourists stranded in Los Cabos have been evacuated and 11,000 people are staying in shelters.
Baja California Sur authorities announced that the National Gendarmerie would be deployed to Los Cabos due to the widespread looting after hurricane Odile pounded the state.
Officials reported that 135 people were treated for minor injuries in Baja California Sur, where Odile made landfall.
At least 239,000 people there were left without electricity, and several communities had no potable water.
As of today - Thursday 18. Sept. 2014 the editor did NOT observe any looting in La Paz.
Several areas have power and internet access. Potable water so far not available. Damage in terms of fallen trees, power and phone poles, ripped of store and house fassades seem to be widespread.
Supermarket Walmart was yesterday open for public. Bakery and bread department had no items on shelves.
Purchasing drinking water becomes problem for editor as known sources / stores are out of water to purify. Some stores still have smaller quantity of bottled water available.
This are are personal observations and may be different at other areas of La Paz. We only ventured out to Esperanza III, Fidepaz, Puesta de Sol, Posada, Los Girasoles, San Pablo, Centro areas.
Click image to visit gallery
While hurricane Odile is gone a new hurricane formed over night south of Baja following pretty much the same path as Odile did. The hurricane is named "Polo" - Residents and stranded visitors in Baja California should continue to keep an eye on, for now category 1, Hurricane Polo.
Polo forecast - maximum sustained winds remain near 120 km/h - 75 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is possible today and tonight.
After that Polo is expected to weaken due to unfavourable upper-level winds. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate Polo later today.
Find more Baja Weather info here... and at Baja Weather Google+
Luis Álvarez Marcén, director of damages of the Mexican Association of Insurance Companies, said that the damages caused by Odile could surpass the 12 billion pesos (906.5 million dollars) that the insurance industry paid for two storms, Manuel and Ingrid, last year.