We were awakened Sunday morning at 7:15 AM to some loud sounds in front of our front porch. We had a mini-emergency on our hands which required some kind of official intervention. I may or may not blog about it later. Right now I am still very, very angry over the situation and I would not be able to write objectively or even intelligently about it.
Last Wednesday a police squad car pulled into our driveway. A uniformed officer and two women stepped out. The police officer was a Comandante assigned to a special unit regarding tourism and the impact crime on the island is having on it. One of the women was the new Director of Tourism. All three spoke very good English and the Comandante spoke what I would call excellent English. So no communication problem whatsoever.
They stopped by to tell us that there is not a crime problem on the island. That the stories we may have been hearing about break-ins to houses and robberies were just not true. In every instance of a house break-in, he assured us, the residents had left either a door or window open. So the houses had not been broken into.
Needless to say, we set him straight on that fact! B got the copies of all the reports we had filed with the police and our roster of attempted break-ins that we did not report. He was just amazed to hear this. There were no records of any forced break-ins at all at the police station! And especially none involving our property. He was going to have to investigate why this was so. We encouraged him to do so.
He left us with his business card that contains all the emergency numbers for the island, which I will share with you. He also wrote his personal cell phone number on the back. We were pleased to have all of these numbers and it felt good to know that somebody seems to be paying attention finally. It also felt good that he bothered to give us his personal phone number, should we have any problems in the future. Just call him and he would take care of it!
So Sunday morning we called the dispatch number from the card to have a police squad sent around to our house. Thirty-five minutes later we called again. An hour and a half after the first call, we called a third time. Each time they assured us that a squad was on the way. I called the personal number of the Comandante. His cell phone is no longer accepting calls and he has no "mail box".
Through a series of interventions and lots of assistance from some of our friends, the mini-emergency got resolved. As I sit here and write this at 2:07 PM on Sunday afternoon, a full 6 hours after our first call to the police, we still have not seen a police officer, let alone even a squad car drive by. Draw your own conclusion as to how effective the police force is here and how much you can depend upon them in an emergency. I know what my conclusion is.
Here are the numbers he gave us. You may want to write them down for your next visit to this peaceful little paradisical island.
RED CROSS EMS..................................877-02-80
OR FOR AN EMERGENCY, DIAL 066
(let me warn you, 066 dials directly to Cancun and they will have no idea of where you are calling from or where you live. They will direct you to call your local police. Voice of experience on that one!)