Five delegados named by Chapala Council
Arturo Ortega (Chapala, Jalisco) – The Chapala Council has announced the names of the people who will serve as heads of their delegations, all of whom are local men.
The positions are provisional until the election is held for those who will occupy the permanent position of delegate, although the new municipal President, Alejandro de Jesús Aguirre Curiel has not yet set a date for the election.
Aguirre Curiel said that, given the pandemic, it would be some time before the municipality will be able to hold an open election. In the meantime, the following men will head the five town offices:
For the Pueblo Mágico of Ajijic, the Delegado will be Máximo (Max) Macías Arceo, who has worked as a merchant and whose appointment has previously been announced by Semanario Laguna.
In Santa Cruz De la Soledad, the man in charge of the office is Marcelo Raygoza Martinez, who is well-known among the young people of the town and for participating in the traditions of his delegation.
In charge of the Atotonilquillo office will be Antonio Perez Gonzalez, a charismatic man in his community who has been recognized for seeking out quality services for one of the most forgotten towns of the municipality.
The man in charge of the office of San Antonio Tlayacapan, Gustavo Aguayo, has worked in the graphics and printing business in his community.
The man in charge of the office of San Nicolás de Ibarra, Salvador Delgadillo Márquez, has stood out for wanting to serve and improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of his community. He is in the running to occupy the position of delegate for the 2018-2021 administration. Translated by Kerry Watson
Work to start soon to clear the still-blocked bicycle path in Jocotepec
After two weeks dirt still impedes the safe passage of users. Photo: Courtesy.
Héctor Ruiz Mejía (Jocotepec, Jal.- Director of the Jocotepec Fire Department Sergio Herrera told cyclists that work to clear the dirt from the Jocotepec-Chapala bicycle path from La Mojonera to Piedra Barrenada, will begin next week. A tour by Laguna staff this week revealed that the path is still blocked by mud and debris form the downpour of October 5.
Sergio Herrera pointed out that the fire department has been busy repairing damage cause by the rains in other areas of the municipality and carrying out prevention actions in the main streams.
«We were focused on the La Mojonera stream bed, as well as support to the restaurant zone and three bridges that needed to be dredged,» he told Laguna.
Riders who used the path regularly pointed out to Laguna that not only is the current situation inconvenient, it is dangerous.
«You can’t cross it on your bicycle, you have to get off or just ride across the road,» said Ana, who rides the bike path daily and added that she has had to help several people who unfortunately fell off their bicycles.
In addition, some users told Laguna that the problem of flooding and obstruction in the stretch of the bike path is not only due to the landslide, but also to the poor drainage system.
«That area of Piedra Barrenada is always flooded, it is impossible to ride on the bike path if it does not have good drainage, even the day of the rainstorm, there were undrained puddles», said José, a user who has been riding on the road since October 5 and sometimes has had to walk along the entire stretch of bike path dragging his bicycle.
Another resident also indicated that the work needs a better drainage system. «Since the beginning they built it, every time it rains it is impossible to walk or ride there; they need to fix the drainage,» said Isidro, a bricklayer by profession, who travels there every day to go to work.
Although the municipal authorities have not commented on this problem, the affected stretch is beginning to generate discontent and observations that the Jocotepec government is not doing its job the way Chapala is. «It is impressive how the border between the municipalities contrasts, since the Ajijic stretch is already clean and here, nothing,» said another user who has had to travel along the road that is still blocked.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
Two arrested for domestic violence in Chapala
Image for illustrative purposes
Redaction. – Personnel from the State Prosecutor’s Office executed arrest warrants against two individuals who were wanted for their probable participation in the crimes of domestic violence and criminal assault.
One of the arrested is Ángel de Jesús «N», who had a warrant pending against him was arrested in the streets of the Las Redes neighborhood of Chapala.
In another action, Mauricio «N» was arrested. He had a valid process against him and was captured in the streets of the town of Atotonilquillo,in the municipality of Chapala.
Both detainees were handed over to the Control and Oral Trial Court of the Fifth Judicial District based in Chapala, to be prosecuted for the crimes of domestic violence and criminal assault.
Ed. Note: To protect the privacy of those not yet convicted of a crime, only first names are disclosed, with “N” in place of the last name.
Translated by: Kerry Watson
Mayor of Chapala, Alejandro Aguirre Curiel approves the performance of the Officers and Executive Vice Presidents
The mayor of Chapala, Alejandro Aguirre Curiel, in a conference on October 19th.
Sofía Medeles / Domingo M. Flores (Ajijic, Jal.)-Alejandro Aguirre Curiel said the officials in charge of the five towns of the municipality are currently in charge of the offices, and he will wait for the first one hundred days to pass (after the start of his government), to give them time to carry out their work plan and evaluate them.
«It is a matter of seeing the times, let’s hope that everyone can participate in the election. Besides, we will see how far it is convenient to carry out the open election,» Aguirre Curiel stated. Regarding the election of delegates, the mayor has said the wait will also depend on the decision of the health committee, since the pandemic could be an issue.
The Organic Regulation of Government of Chapala, was modified three years ago when the government of the former mayor of Chapala, Moisés Anaya Aguilar had begun. Article 32 pointed out that three months after the administration arrived in power the public administration would have to call elections, but with the modification the date to call elections was left free. Likewise, the mandatory nature was removed, since now in Article 5, it is clarified that the municipal mayor is the person who can appoint or remove the delegate from office.
For some inhabitants this change in the Organic Regulations meant (at that time) a step backwards in the search for democracy in the municipality since according to what was reported by this media in publications from years ago if a future municipal president does not want to, he will not elect delegates.
Translated by Sydney Metrick
The «change of face» of the Ajijic plaza continues
Chapala town hall staff painting the kiosk in the main square of Ajijic.
Sofia Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- You can still see how workers of the municipality of Chapala are working on repairs in the main square of Ajijic approximately 15 days after having started.
They are currently fixing the flower boxes, fixing some benches in the main square of the plaza and renewing the painting of the kiosk and some of the benches.
Translated by Sydney Metrick
Only 42 flood-damaged homes in Ajijic eligible for state funds
Homes in the neighborhood of La Canacinta, west of Ajijic, were affected.
Sofía Medeles/ Domingo M. Flores (Ajijic, Jal.)- Only 42 houses of the 159 affected in Ajijic by the torrential rains of October 5 can access the support of the State Fund for Natural Disasters (FOEDEN), announced Chapala Mayor Alejandro Aguirre Curiel.
The Civil Protection Unit of the State Government only has registered damages in 42 homes, while the City Hall counts damages in at least 159 homes. According to the report of Civil Protection and Firefighters of Chapala, out of 159 houses affected, 61 had total damages to their furniture and structure, and a total of 683 people were affected.
The state support would only be for people who lost all their household goods or appliances and suffered severe structural damages in their homes or had flooding of more than 60 to 70 centimeters, Aguirre Curiel told reporters. He added that he does not know with certainty when these resources will arrive, however, he pointed out that the State Government is willing to support the victims.
Alejandro Aguirre Curiel, municipal president of Chapala, during a press conference October 19.
While distributing aid to people of La Canacinta, Aguirre reiterated that until the state resources arrive, the victims will be able to count on all the support the Municipal Government can offer.
«There is a ruling with which we will work with from the state agency that manages these funds, but it is not known exactly how long it will take, But regardless of this, we will keep in communication with you, and as far as possible we will support you with the repairs. Hopefully in the following days we will have news of this fund to be able to channel it», assured the municipal president.
He also commented that, although he does not fully understand the rules of the fund, he intends to address the damages with different committees, for example, one for damages to household goods and another for damages to infrastructure, asserting that he does not know yet how much support will be available.
Finally, he said that his strategy is that from the total number of houses that the city council declared with damages, they will prioritize the most damaged ones for the support, and administer the aid in the most efficient way possible.
Translated by Patrick O’Heffernan
Aguirre off to a good start, but can it last?
Alejandro Aquirre listens to a constituent in La Canacinta ( photo: Patrick O’Heffernan)
Expats in Lakeside cannot vote or be involved in campaigns, so we have little influence on what goes on at the municipal governments in Chapala or Jocotepec. We pay our taxes and hope some of the money actually gets spent efficiently in the community.
The new Aguirre administration in Chapala seems to have hit the ground running to change that. perception. Alejandro Aguirre is projecting an image that he is ushering a new era in competence and transparency in Chapala, and to date, he has backed up that projection with some immediate accomplishments.
The rapid and well-coordinated response to the floods and landslides was pretty much a textbook operation by Chapala, despite the fact that the last administration did not leave functioning equipment and vehicles and they had to be rented. Plus, DIF – headed up by Erika Torres, the new First Lady of Chapala – is working daily with many non-profits to distribute food and supplies where they are needed.
Also, almost immediately, Aguirre announced he would open investigations into the illegal building and permit irregularities that led to the destruction in communities like La Canacinta and La Christina. We shall see if he follows through. Laguna will keep reporting on whether this is a real initiative or an empty promise.
Speaking of reporting, from a journalist’s point of view there is definitely a new attitude in Chapala. Aguirre has hired Eli Oropeza as his Director of Communications, a woman with deep experience both in media and government communications. She has set up communication lines with local journalists, answers questions quickly, and even introduced local journalists to President Aguirre.
Aguirre has also quickly announced 22 of his department heads – 75% of the total- only two weeks after taking office, another sign that he intends to get things done. His expansion of the Cultural staff and appointments also is a good start on his promises to beef up the cultural offerings of Lakeside.
As we move forward and see how problems like potholed streets, broken sidewalks, water shortages, the controversial dog rescue center in West Ajijic, underfunded police and fire, and the Auditorio get handled, we will know if his administration is all show and no go, or the competent technocracy he projects.
It is encouraging that Aguirre seems to stress getting out and listening to all kinds of people – including Expats (with translation help from Oropeza) and responding to problems . We will see if he can keep the momentum up for the next three years despite the lethargy inherent in any bureaucracy, the persistent funding shortfalls, and the bizarre state-local-federal relationships any local political leader must navigate .
That is why governing is a skill and an art – we shall see if Aguirre can do both.
New administration supports resuming recycling project
Team of volunteers working on this project on Saturdays. The project is in El Bajío, on the outskirts of Ajijic. Photo: María del Refugio Reynoso Medina.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.) – Ajijic’s recycling project, which began operating without support from City Hall during 2019, has the support of the new Chapala administration, according to Ajijic’s Encargado de Despacho, Maximiliano “Max” Macías Arceo. He said the project would receive support, transportation and personnel from the municipality.
“The people from the recycling center, who are Americans, have already approached us to ask for support. The truth is that the place (located on the Chapala-Jocotepec highway at El Bajío) is in a deplorable state, the bathrooms do not work and there is a garbage dump. We want to work more closely with them since they help us keep the streets looking good. We will try to reestablish the relationship and lend them a vehicle and an assistant,” Macías Arceo said.
He also said an American company has donated 42 garbage drums, but he does not know how large the drums are. He wants to be sure they are big enough to avoid overflowing, especially due to use by tourists. That could look bad and also hinder collection. On the other hand, he expressed confidence that blue bins, which are used to collect items for recycling, will soon be repaired with the help of Alberto Muñoz Hernández “Beto Rock.”
Thomas Thompson, a volunteer who led the project when it began, told Laguna that the relationship with the past Municipal Government is broken. He said the program has continued because the volunteers have been supporting it unconditionally.
Thomas said the project, which today is sustainable thanks to the sale of cardboard, glass and plastic, manages to pay an employee. From time to time, volunteers are able to set up educational projects for children. Even so, sometimes the resources are not enough because they need to budget for the transfer of recyclable waste from the town to the collection center and then send the materials to recyclers in Guadalajara.
The activist said he and his fellow volunteers have continued for almost four years with the motivation to create a more sustainable world, prevent landfills from filling up with garbage and take advantage of the resources that can be reused.
The recycling project began in 2018, when the former administration of the Municipal Government of Chapala (2018-2021) convened in the main square to form a committee, with Thomas Thompson leading the effort. The project stopped in April 2020; however, it partially resumed work in July of that same year.
Volunteers are accepted on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the bodega located at Chapala-Jocotepec Highway #915 A, in El Bajío.
Translated by Mike Rogers
La Cristina, the most forgotten area after the mudslides
Residents of La Cristina say they are not receiving support from the City Hall to clean the street, and that, until recently, the DIF and civil organizations have supported them with food.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- A week after the mudslides in the west of Ajijic, the neighborhood of La Canacinta is already in better condition, with clean streets and every day with fewer traces of the damage caused by the October 5 disaster.
However, the neighborhood of La Cristina has not fared as well, as the neighborhood (also west of town) was difficult to access due to the mud blockage until the beginning of the week.
Residents of La Cristina told Laguna that since the day of the mudslide (which flooded at least five neighborhoods), and up to now the authorities have not helped them clean up with heavy machinery, they have had to do it themselves.
«They say they can’t come to clean up here because it is a private street. The heavy machinery that has come to open our street has been because the neighbors paid for them,» said one of the neighbors interviewed.
«Until the beginning of this week, the DIF and social organizations supported us with food supplies and some clothes, because the first week no one stopped by to see how the residents were doing. One family even had to sleep in their car, since their house had been buried in the mud and they had nowhere to go. Here the disaster was the same or even worse than in La Canacinta, since walls were also burst and the mudslide left boulders», said a neighbor of La Cristina.
In a tour made by Semanario Laguna on October 13, the people who live in La Cristina were still cleaning their homes and streets, and picking up the garbage that the current left behind. In addition, the mud, which according to the marks on the walls, reached more than one meter high, has begun to expel foul odors.
In nearby La Canacinta, the streets are already free of landslide damage and some households continue with cleaning their homes. At the beginning of the week, neighbors of La Canacinta also received medical support from Servicios Medicos de Chapala, because people began to present respiratory and stomach infections due to the contact with the mud. The Axixic Chimalli group, along with many other civilians, donated the medicines. They also received household appliances, beds, clothes and food from donations by private individuals.
Translated by Kerry Watson
Ajijic’s new Delegado will seek to work in an integrated manner
Ajijic’s new Delegado or town administrator, Maximiliano «Max» Macías Arceo, 43 years old, is a native of the town and son of Alicia Arceo and Maximiliano Macías «Chimiano.» Photo Sofia Medeles.
Sofía Medeles (Ajijic, Jal.)- The new Delegate of Ajijic, Maximiliano «Max» Macías Arceo, 43 years old, said in an interview that he will work in an integrated manner in different areas, as well as in public services so that they work as they should.
The interviewee’s medium-term plan is to promote culture and traditions, sports and to keep the basic services of the town fully functioning; in other words, «to make thins work in Ajijic.»
The Delegado says his main objective is to keep Ajijic’s public lighting, water service and garbage collection in good condition and fully functional. In addition, he is asking that a portion of the annual water collection fee be kept directly in Ajijic and not go to the municipal seat as was the custom in recent administrations.
«I would like part of the annual collection of the Municipal System of Drinking Water and Sewage (SIMAPA) to stay in Ajijic, as it was done before, so we can maintain everything well, without any potholes and with dedicated crews to focus on Ajijic, its streets, and its people,» he said.
Max, who was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, the attire of a person who likes to work outside the office, recounted some social programs of the past that he would like to replicate, such as that of the Japanese Juanita Reed, who had a crew of children who picked up the garbage from the streets of the town.
«I would like to do something similar to Juanita’s children, who used to bring them cleaning in their white shirts, because education and the culture of cleanliness begins as a child,» he added.
As for sports, he plans to look for a young person who can take charge of organizing and promoting short tournaments in different disciplines, such as basketball and volleyball.
With respect to culture, the Delegado says he will seek to promote activities in coordination with the director of Culture of Ajijic (a new position created in the organization chart of this new government administration), Santiago Baeza, who, with «his contacts and experience», could help him in this task. In addition, he will work with the administrator of the Ajijic Cultural Center (CCA), Héctor Hinojosa, and the local director, Efrén González.
«We are also interested in holding events and activities on the plaza, using it to promote our culture», said the Delegate.
Max asserted: «I don’t want to focus on just one thing, since everything is a priority, especially the people and their needs. Even so, as for the upcoming festivities, we will have to wait to see what the Jalisco Ministry of Health (SSJ) indicates, but we are ready to help everyone.»
As to the election of the delegate, he said that it will be announced in due time, since it is usually in April, where he will participate as a candidate. «Even so, the municipal president has the final word,» he said.
Translated by Kerry Watson