Head Scratching over Water Issues in San Pedro and Neza

Suyapa Amador Guzman and ACORN Mexico members

ACORN Mexico members through the colonias where we are organizing inMexico City with Suyapa Amador, the head organizer of ACORN Mexico, and various of our leaders, it seemed we could not escape water issues. Water was becoming a theme of my whole trip!

San Miguel de Allende In San Pedro de Martir close to the edge of the Districto Federal with signs indicating we were within 50 kilometers of Cuernavaca, one of the big issues was a polluted creek contaminating the area and the water supply.  Nearby companies claiming to have permits for the dumping had created a foul, bluish-green toxic brew.   Neighbors were now organizing to finally see a cleanup but thus the only evidence of enforcement in the past were several battered signs warning PELIGROSO (danger!) in large letters.  Near the road an alter had been built and that was doing about as much good.

Later in the Neza one of our leaders recounting the fight over 40 years for potable water in five of the colonias within this huge mega-slum produced a document from the municipal authorities that was four years old dated 2007.   The estimated cost to bring all five communities within the water system – finally – was $800,000 USD.  No question that is a lot of money, but when you figure that in the communities, depending on the actual household count, it would only be a cost of $200 in one year for 4000 homes or $100 for 8000 homes or $400 for 2000 homes.  There’s a lot of difference between $100 USD in one year and $400 that would have to be amortized over three or four years, but given the costs that families are already paying for water deliver and the maze of makeshift systems allowing them to live with this situation, it would seem that a will could have found a way between the city, the State of Mexico where Neza is based, and the families themselves.  The issue seems to be more the dysfunction of government and the inability of citizens to move the authorities than hard cash and pesos.

Polluted Stream in San Pedro de Martir

ACORN Mexico

Polluted Stream in San Pedro de Martir

is planning a number of large meetings in each of the areas pushing towards a public session with the officials in June.  None of these fights are easy, but it would be wonderful if these communities finally won water after 40 years in the desert.

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