On March 14, a Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) truck entered Rancho Alegre in El Chante and proceeded to cut the electric service to the well, the development’s only water supply.
The next day we talked to the manager in the CFE office in Jocotepec who claimed we had not paid several bills in 2018. The property manager for the development returned to his office with paid receipts for each and every bill.
With copies of the receipts, the manager went to the Chapala office only to return with another claim of non-payment. Again the property manager provided the receipt, while indicating the inefficiency of their record keeping.
Each time we spoke with the CFE manager, we emphasized the effect the blackout is having on the sanitation of our 25 homes. This did not seem to bother him.
He claimed we had not paid for a period in 2016 when we installed our own transformer. At this time we were fortunate to have a neighbor who supplied us with enough water until the CFE could connect the new transformer and meter to supply service to us. Needless to say, we used zero electricity during this period.
The CFE asked us to send them a letter stating such, which we have done. A letter was also sent to CFE customer service in Mexico City, detailing this terrible situation and again mentioning the health issue. At this time, 14 days later, we have not received a response nor has electric service for our well been reconnected.
We will be taking this up with Profeco, the federal consumer protection agency, with hopes of a good result. We have gone to the extreme of offering to pay what they feel we owe so we can get our service restored, and fight over it after the fact.
After working for an electric utility company in California for 30 years, which stressed good customer service, I am appalled by the way CFE is handling this case.
Douglas Davies, president of Rancho Alegre
Saddle up cowpokes. If you are headed for the north shore of Lake Chapala, you are headed for the wild, wild west. If you are coming here because you want more freedom, and less regulation, eureka, you have found it.
Many of these freedoms are being exercised on the streets of Chapala and other north shore communities. The freedom to shoot and kill people is turning into a daily reality. How many redundant headlines have been posted on the pages of this newspaper over the last few months? “Lakeside shocked by murder of Canadian resident,” “Chapala police protection enhanced in wake of series of local shootings,” “Elite amphibious police squad busted with dope,” “Soldiers drafted to streets as turf war escalates,” and my favorite, “Chapala installs new security advisory council.”
Headlines sell newspapers. The reality is, however, that the new administration of Chapala is providing not one ounce of security for the people of the district, and the same goes for Jocotepec. For Mexico, it’s just another day of gangs, cartels and murder. The local government is helpless to do anything, other than talk about it. The law enforcement element is strictly a reactionary force, only responding after the fact.
The violence is not going to dry up overnight. The security forces will continue to be a non-element in preventing these crimes or providing any level of security for the residents of the Chapala area. Accepting that this is the new normal for my home is not a pleasant thought. But that is the reality.
To honor the 14th birthday of one of my teenage daughters, this older Canadian went with his Mexican wife and three girls to see Tributo a Queen (who is Queen?) at the Teatro Diana in Guadalajara on March 23.
Let’s get to the punchline without delay. I am still spitting mad and embarrassed as a North American in my new Mexican home country at the sheer arrogance and nerve this band had to actually charge an audience for presenting an utter garbage show.
It started with about three songs at a sound-level well above where clinical hearing damage is unavoidable. Fortunately, the next five minutes of “technical problem” allowed me to re-adjust my two toilet paper rolls in my ears.
The fact that this band had not done any testing of their equipment hounded them the rest of the show. At least a dozen times the singer walked off the stage, or a technician “sneaked” in full view to fiddle with the “performers” mikes, wireless transmitters and cables.
The sound level may have had a purpose, since most of the time it was not clear if the band actually knew the words of the songs. Luckily the audience knew their music and pitched in.
The regular stage light guy did not show up so they must have picked a teenager off the streets to just keep turning the switches on and off, not in any specific order, just try to keep some beat. Eventually he got the hang of it and learned which switches uniformly activated which colors.
A video screen in the center at ground level occasionally displayed a variety of live or canned recordings of close-ups of the performers, with the lead singer right in front blocking it. The young male and female dancing band had not been allowed to do any rehearsing on the stage and so each did pretty well their own thing. There were moments when they managed to get their act together to perform well, but mostly in darkness, as barely recognizably shadows.
The truth be told, despite this group giving the finger to Mexico, the Mexicans, bless their hearts, waved and sang and had a good time regardless.
Would the audience come again? Of course! Maybe that is what it is all about. I love Mexicans!
Brisas de Chapala