Mar 12, 2009, 9:48 AM
Post #1 of 7
It is characteristic of places, such as the state of Chiapas, occupying the bottom economic rung of a given political ladder comprised, figuratively, of marginally more financially blessed political jurisdictions, that community leaders speak publicly in heroic slogans of the serious mindset and bright future of the community suffering from some financial and social deprivation. It is also typical of the inhabitants of such a region, if they enjoy the liberties of free expression, to make light of this "heroic" but phony public posturing with slogans of their own. In Chiapas, the official slogan for the community is "Son Hechos, No Palabras" to posit the notion that, in Chiapas, we are doers not idle talkers. The locals enjoy repeating a contrary slogan in derision, "Ni Hechos, Ni Palabras" which I needn´t translate but which. suffice it to say, is repeated often with much relish and irony.
When we are resident in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, we try to watch the local news on television each morning to keep up with community happenings and this is especially true now that the local municipal potable water authority has decided to cut off the community´s water supply because, they contend, a large number of municipal water users are not paying their annual fees for access to that water supply. The authority more specifically is blaming a large number of indigenous citizens who often live in the surrounding hillside ghettos for not paying their required water access fees and many in that community are, in turn, blaming the water authority for delivering non-potable and turbid water to their barrios and we, as observers, really don´t know who, if anyone, is telling it truly like it is so we watch this urban drama unfold out of curiosity as to when we can expect normal delivery of our allotment of municipal water to resume - not to take sides which would be futile to say the least. We have found that, especially in Chiapas, discerning the truth of any community dispute is difficult if not impossible so we await resolution by others and bide our time since there is nothing we can do except refill our cistern if it empties with the available water trucks offered by the local fire department.
Since we have taken to watching the local Chiapas news more intensly than normally would be the case under the usual circumatances, we have noticed some things that might generallly escape our attention. One is that the local Chiapas news producers prefer to report on relatively inane events not likely to stir up trouble among the various political, social and economic factions of the community whose civility toward each other would be sorely tested in the event some sort of social inequity is perceived to be occurring. Consequently, the news normally broadcast is somewhat insipid to say the least. Since the availability of municipal water to all factions in the community is a sensitive issue, the local news channel prefers not to touch on the issue at all but concetrate on such things as economic development, progress among agricultural interests and non-controversial boosterism among local politicos. Advertisements interspersed among these soft news segments tend to touch upon such subjects as birth control techniques (quite explicit around here), alcoholism, child and spousal abuse mitigation and local industrial development. In order to ascertain the actual progress or lack of progress regarding recommencement of municipal water delivery, we have to circulate in the streets and inquire of neighbors as to what the local tom-toms tell them. So far the local grapevine tells us nothing about the ultimate disposition of this community wide problem except that the municipal water authority is saying that water will not be delivered again for at least two weeks so it seems to be a good time for a road trip since there is nothing else to be done.
My neighbors just informed me that the water dispute has been resolved as of last night (municipal water is only delivered at night in San Cristóbal) and our aljibe should be full as of this morning. Cancel the road trip. Much ado about nothing as usual thank God.
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Mar 12, 2009, 9:58 AM)