This is Part III, which is a posting by the Americans swindled by the San Felipe frauds showing their take on the whole situation.]
PROFECO MEETING REPORT & DISCUSSION
Posted July 6, 2010
Profeco, the Mexican consumer affairs have had a couple of meetings in San Felipe over the last month and below is a report of the last meetings. We are posting this report in hopes of getting people to start an online open discussion to increase community awareness.
Profeco was 25 minutes late and Bill Casey used that time to tell the 45 people in attendance that all Mexicali government officials (Mayor and on down) are the source of all their problems. He stated that the high officials are great friends with the developers that are in most trouble and a phone call from the developer causes actions and investigations to be delayed by months to years. Casey was particularly hating on Dept. of Urbanization. Casey did mention that there had been two investigations in San Felipe so far, the Marina and Playa de Oro (PDO). He said that they found that Marina was in violation but as for PDO Casey put his hands over his head and stated something like “I can’t believe this”.
Profeco arrived and they started the meeting. Their manager brought an assistant to translate for him. It was explained that Sara (the previous Profeco contact) had been replaced by her manager. There was a lot of discontent about that replacement. It was expressed that Sara doing great job and moving the agenda along and made Profeco look good. Some believe she may have been getting too close and someone made a call, which had her replaced.
Manager started explaining the process that they would use to work with the developers. They would meet with the developer and work out a plan to get the situation fixed. He did state that they have limited resources and that they also cover Mexicali where there are huge problems.
He never got the chance to finish his explanation. Many people were interrupting him with specific questions about their situations. The manager was stunned and started talking about process and thus talking in circles.
A fairly reasonable man was representing about 10 Marina people who have not had power or water for 5 years. He wanted to know the status on the complaint that he had filed. Manager stated that Marina and Hacienda were the top 2 troubled developments that they were going to work on first. (Magdalines and Casa Blanca had been determined to be highest priority last time Sara was here.) Manager stated that they were meeting with Marina owner next week in Mexicali. After tons of pressure and heated questions and demands from the audience he said that they would probably give Marina till the end of the year to provide the promised amenities. If the fixes don’t happen there would be a fine/bond that would need to be posted that the developer would get back when the work was done. Audience was demanding weekly progress reports. At one point the Manger screwed up and seemed to indicate that the Marina Developer said that he would fix his water/power issues but demanded that Profeco investigate and get work out plans with all the other troubled developments first. The crowd went wild. Manager jumped on a bike to back pedal.
|Part of a February, 2009 audit report by state auditor of Baja California pointing out that Grupo Munoz Lira,
developer of Las Magdalenas, owes the state 18,833,304 pesos on land purchased and has failed to complete
the construction agreement on 87 homes in Mexicali.
Manager said that he would send out information to Bill Casey, but the audience wanted the information to be sent out to the representatives of each development that were being worked with.
Several people tried to shout down Casey because he was not letting Profeco present their program and was being disrespectful. Casey turned his attention on them and they walked out.
There were several calls from the audience for people to call newspapers up north, and a couple of newspapers were stated to be running investigations. An owner from Las Magdalenas was one of those calling for this. It was stated that it might hurt sales/tourism but others stated there was no sales/tourism anyway so who cares? No thought as to all the local Mexican businesses that would be hurt by an additional barrage of bad news up north.
They went back to the replacement of Sara and basically accused Profeco of replacing her because she was starting to get things moving and getting things resolved. It was stated that she understood their problems and that they had come to trust her.
Manager said that they would be having future meetings regarding individual developments so that there weren’t so many issues and that they could focus on them.
The question was asked if Profeco handled cases of both home sales and lot only sales. The Manager answered both. A couple wanted to get that answer clarified. Seems to me they would be involved with both. Basically anything in the consumer area.
Manager responded to additional accusations that friendships and phone calls to high officials caused investigations to be cancelled by stating that he had developer friends in Mexicali that he had fined in order for them to finish their amenities. Both the Manager and his assistant were very poorly equipped language wise to hand this group. They were so busy translating in their heads that they had no time to respond before they were hit from another direction. It will be fascinating to see how the Mexican Manager’s personality will react to this humiliation at the hands of a bunch of Gringos.
Meeting broke up after this and a few gathered around the officials and started verbally beating on them.
There were a couple of rational voices in the crowd, and there were a lot of rightfully pissed off people that had paid for a home or a lot with promised power/water/title and had nothing after several years of lawyers talking with their developer. The lady representing Hacienda stated that Profeco had told them in a meeting last week that they would use Profeco money to sue the developer if it doesn’t get fixed. The mood seemed to be that they had suffered so much for so long that they do not care anymore who else gets hurt while they get fixed even if it is the local Mexicans from a further drop in tourism.
There are people out there with no power/water/title, homes with unsafe/unsanitary living conditions for their children in some cases (Mexicali). However, there were others in the audience that have power/water/title and they want Profeco to take their limited resources of time and manpower and spend them on their issues.