This image is at the entrance of our colonia. We have armed guards and other security personal that ride bikes around the neighborhood 24/7. We should be very glad they are here. Our security monthly fee is L400 ($21 US). I'm told that the security salary is L4000/month ($212 US). I'm also told that this amount is a point of contention between the guards and the neighborhood committee (or whatever they are called). The guards are saying they are underpaid and the committee just tells them to put a sock in it. There are just over 300 homes in this colonia and 16 guards. Total security fees collected each month are about L120,000 ($6,349 US). Total salaries are L64,000 ($3,386 US). The excess after salaries are paid are said to cover costs for bikes, guns & misc for the guards. Does it really cost L56,000/month ($2,063 US) for bikes, guns & misc? That is the big question.
A while back I wrote a post about the colonia staging a little protest and the news crews coming here. A new guarded residential like ours is being built next to ours and they are going to be tapping into our well. Who knows what will happen with that, but it wasn't enough to stop it so far.
Last week we got a notice at our door saying that we needed to pay an additional L500 ($26 US) for attorney's fees to stop our well hijacking or they would not accept our security fee. I have heard now that only about 20 residents have paid this L500 fee. The residents that are trying to pay just the security fee are being rejected and told they won't accept anything without the extra fee. So what does this mean? The guards are paid out of the security fees. If the committee won't accept payments, how are our guards going to work with no pay? I certainly wouldn't work without pay.
A woman that was on the neighborhood committee was recently kicked off because she started to ask too many questions and wanted to see documentations of expenses, etc. She was personally insulted by some guy on the committee who when he first moved here drove a crap car, but recently has been seen driving a nice new SUV. He handles all the finances. Oh, he must have got a promotion at his job - right? mmm hmmm.
It doesn't make sense to me. Another woman Papa talked to says that the case is already lost and there is nothing left to fight so the attorney fee that they want to charge is bogus. Maybe it will really suck to have the new residential tap into the well here. Maybe we'll lose water pressure. Maybe we will have to ration water. Who knows what will happen, but if collectively the community doesn't want to do anything about it, they shouldn't be strong armed into paying a bogus attorney fee that they don't want to pay. At least that's what I think.
Oh, and I asked Papa what will happen if someone doesn't pay the security fee. He said that the guards just don't lift the gate to let them in so they have to get out of their car and lift it themselves. Ha! I guess there is a problem with some people not paying the security fee. Ever.
Hopefully we'll still have guards by the end of the month.