public meeting

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meeting 2

Post by dean on Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:45 am


Summary of the Public Meeting on Community Issues held Feb 14th 2013
Venue: Hotel Villas Paraiso (thanks to Senor David for providing the space)
Host: Joaquin Leon Aviles, Sub-Delegate for El Sargento and La Ventana, cell 612-140-1082,
office 612-114-0439 joaqleoaviles@gmail.com
Guests, 1st hour:
- Cesar Pozo Juarez (Engineer), Director of Environment Health Branch, Public Services Dept,ingpozo@hotmail.com 612-154-8513
- Juan de la Pena Salgado (Engineer), Director General of Public Services, juan.dp.salgado@hotmail.com
- Rafael Aviles Verdugo, Social Services Organiser, El Sargento y La Ventana
- Rosa Gisela Aviles, Promotora Ambiental de Cerralvo (civil society organisation)
Guests, 2ndhour:
- Armando Simental Santoyo, Comandante of the Policia Preventiva for Los Planes y El Sargento, 612-114-4062 (24 hrs), 612-137-3527 personal cell
- Edgar Garcia Lopez, Comandante, Policia Ministerial (Investigative Police), Los Planes, 612-111-3159
- Orubeth Escobedo Cota, Agente, Policia Ministerial (Investigative Police)
Interpreter: Heidi Hart, harthe77@gmail.com
Rapporteur: Chris Bradley, chris.bradley3@gmail.com
Present: approximately 17 home-owning foreign residents
Topics: (1st hour) Community Clean-Up
(2nd hour) Crime and security in the community, continued from previous meeting
1. Community Clean-up
Subdelegado Joaquin has arranged that trucks, workers and equipment from the Dept of Public Services in La Paz will be here on Monday March 4th to do a major clean-up, fix broken street lights, grade the dirt streets, and plant trees and shrubs. Assistance was requested from foreign residents to join the school children and local adults who will be taking part and sign-up sheets were handed out for each of 9 zones. See separate announcement in Ventana View. Inspectors will be here for the whole week and will go house to house educating people about disposing of garbage properly. People who fail to comply can be fined up to 6,500 pesos.
This is the beginning of what is intended as a sustained effort to beautify and clean up our locality, including the establishment of a beach park next to Las Palmas restaurant, and conversion of the basketball court area (la cancha) into a public plaza (zocalo) with benches, gardens, trees, shade, a children’s playground and other amenities. It was suggested that technical advice and perhaps funding can be obtained by collaborating with tourism organizations and the university.
Request for Honorary Inspectors: assistance is needed from the foreign residents in tracking people who dump garbage in the desert, particularly the building contractors and related workers. Complaints can be made anonymously, with protection under a new national law. Please contact Joaquin or Heidi at their above email addresses if you are willing to sign up for this.
Major project for cleaning up the 3 arroyos: Subdelegado Joaquin has applied for federal funding for a one-month project to give work to 200 local people to clean the big arroyos before the next hurricane takes everything down into the ocean and onto the beaches. If approved, itwill take place this summer.
Request for help with recycling: Rosa Aviles’s organisation is already providing a collection point in La Ventana for plastic, glass and cardboard, but help is needed in transporting these items to buys in La Paz. Please contact Joaquin if you are willing to help with this.
Street lights: Trailer park residents request that the streetlights in their vicinity not be repaired, because of the light pollution they cause in camp.

Other items:
- More covered garbage bins needed because of wind and animals
- The garbage truck causes mess – what can be done? Is the compactor broken?
- Information will be provided about regular garbage collection days and what arrangements are being made for coverage on official holidays
- Any problems with garbage pick-up should be reported to Joaquin
- The temporary garbage collector in the campground was photographed dumping the camp garbage in the desert – can this be dealt with by the Ejido?
- Can the roads be regarded after Semana Santa, not before, because of the extra traffic damage?
2. Crime and Security Issues
A suspected criminal can only be held without being charged for 72 hrs. When foreign residents are away, the police often cannot prosecute criminals unless prior arrangements have been made for a person to represent the property owner in making a complaint. Under the Mexican Penal Code, some crimes, such as robbery, can be acted on by the police without a complaint from the victim; these are called delitos oficiosos. Other crimes, such as property damage, require a complaint to be made by the victim or his/her representative: these are calleddelitos querellos. Where the property damage was part of a robbery, the police can act without the victim. However, unless the police come upon a crime being actually committed, someone needs to notify them in the first place.
It would be wise for foreign property owners to prepare in advance by appointing someone in the area to act on their behalf to notify the police of a break-in, and to make an official complaint if necessary. For this, a particular kind of notarized letter is needed: un poder notarial, con clausula especial para representar denuncias y/o querellas. Any of the notaries in La Paz can do this, for a fee. Doing it from out of the country is more complicated, as a Spanish translation done by a recognized official translator would also be needed.
New police post: Subdelegado Joaquin showed the document granting access to the necessary land, authorized at a meeting of the whole Ejido on March 18th of last year. This can be proceeded with once the funds raised by last year’s Kite Classic are made available. However, Comandante Simental pointed out that locating the post at the entrance to town may not help with apprehending criminals because of the many dirt roads that cut across the desert to the La Paz road.
Police patrols:following the previous Community Meeting 2 weeks ago, a vehicle was made available specifically for patrolling in the El Sargento area and it has been doing this regularly, which is much appreciated.
Contacting the police: El Sargento detachment consists of 6 officers who work alternate 24 hour shifts in threes. (Two live here, 3 live in Los Planes, and one comes from La Paz). Normally, two officers are in the vehicle, and one stays at the office, 24/7. If one is sick or on vacation and there is no response on the office number (612-114-0433), call the Los Planes office, which has a detachment of 24 officers and always has someone at the phone. They can call the on-duty officers patrolling in El Sargento on their cell phones.
Neighbourhood Watch: BCS has a scheme called Vecinos Vigilantes, which could be started here. Subdelegado Joaquin has the forms in his office and will assist volunteers interested in setting the system up in their own residential areas.
Conclusion: This was a very informative and productive meeting, with some positive and constructive comments from the attendees, offered in a helpful spirit. The invited authorities outlined their valuable plans and initiatives, and were responsive to questions and suggestions from the audience. This represents welcome progress in fostering improved communication and co-operation between foreign residents and our host community.
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dean

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public meeting

Post by dean on Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:40 am

vv
INFORMATION
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Summary of the Public Meeting on Community Issues held Feb 14th 2013
Venue: Hotel Villas Paraiso (thanks to Senor David for providing the space)
Host: Joaquin Leon Aviles, Sub-Delegate for El Sargento and La Ventana, cell 612-140-1082, joaqleoaviles@gmail.com
Guests:
- Luis Felipe Castro Manriquez, Coordinator of the Policia Ministerial for the State of BC
- Jesus Felix Geraldo Castro, Sub-Director of the Policia Ministerial for the State of BCS
- Jesus Alfonso Valenzuela Cruz, Director of Operations for the Municipal Office of Public Security
- Armando Simental Santoyo, Comandante of the Policia Preventiva for Los Planes y El Sargento
- Benjamin Romero Cota, Comandante Sector 5 La Paz, BCS
- Hector Adrian Vazquez Perez, Comandante Policia Turistico, 612-157-2751 (speaks English)
- Orubeth Escobedo Cota, Ministry of Public Prosecutions
- Edgar Garcia Lopez, Comandante Policia Ministeria in Los Planes
Interpreters: Edgar Lopez and Heidi Hart
Rapporteur: Chris Bradley
Present: approximately 60 attendees, mostly the home-owning foreign residents
Topics: (1) Crime and security in the community; (2) Local government structure and systems
Discussion:
The main focus of the meeting was on crime, the police response and how we can all work together as residents of the same community to improve the security of property. Of those present, 24 individuals or couples had been victims of property crime, including 7 who had experienced 2 incidents of theft, and 4 who had experienced 3 or more incidents. Eleven individuals or couples had lost property or incurred damage worth less than USD 2,000, and the rest lost more than USD 2,000. Fourteen of the 24 made a report to the police but most were not satisfied with the police response or the outcomes. All these incidents were of theft or damage to property ; no attacks against the person were reported at the meeting. The above information relates only to those present at the meeting – it is not a survey of crime in the community.

Most discussion centred on how the police can respond more effectively to complaints from the foreign community. At present, many people are not clear about who to report a crime to. The Policia Ministerial are located in Los Planes (main street, blue and while building, left hand side before the Delegacion building), and they INVESTIGATE crime between the hours of 9am and 3p, Mon-Fri. Phone: 612-114-4189. Reports must be made in writing in Spanish, translated and stamped by an official translator.

At all other times, call the Policia Preventiva (Preventive Police), who are located at the office of the Sub-delegacion in El Sargento, phone: 612-114-0439. The Policia Preventiva can attend the crime scene, take down basic facts and observations about damage and conditions, and explain what further actions need to be taken. Even during the office hours of the Policia Ministerial, it can be helpful to first call the Policia Preventiva. There is one patrol car for El Sargento/ La Ventana and they are on duty 24 hrs every day, with a response time of approx 10 to 20 mins. The investigation of the incident will then be taken over by the Policia Ministerial in Los Planes, but this needs to be initiated by the victim of the crime going to their Los Planes office to make an official complaint as described above.

The number for emergencies in general (like 911) is 066.

People who wish to claim their stolen property which has been recovered by the police can claim it at the Los Planes office of the Policia Ministerial by showing paperwork establishing their ownership (for vehicles or property of high value), or by bringing two witnesses to identify lesser property such as clothing, electrical goods or kitchen equipment.
Suggestions for improvements include:
 Displaying a notice in Spanish and English in various public places in the community, explaining the steps for reporting a crime and how to get assistance with this
- Publicising the phone numbers of the various agencies, including the Tourist Police and the Director of Tourism in La Paz, who have offered their assistance
Progressing the existing plan for moving the present police post from the Sub-delegacion in El Sargento to a new building which would be constructed at the entrance to La Ventana. Permits are now ready for collection at the Ejido office. Some funds towards this have already been set aside from the La Ventana Classic and are being held by Jimena, but more will be needed.
 Fund-raising for another patrol car, such as has been done by the foreign communities in Todos Santos and Los Barriles. The current vehicle is 10 yrs old and not reliable.
Outcome:
The meeting was very productive in beginning a conversation with the different police departments on the need for improved communication between the public and the police, and between the branches and levels of the police and justice services. it was good to see the interest of the foreign community, as well as the willingness on the part of the senior officials with state-wide responsibilities to come in person to hear about our experiences.
Another meeting to continue the discussion will be organized by Joaquin. A separate meeting will be held very soon to give information about other public services in this community, such as garbage, road maintenance, street lighting, etc. Both will be announced in Ventana View.

dean

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