Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drama, Drama, Drama!

Tuesday night we heard an awful lot of sirens going by our house. I learned long ago that it does me no good to jump up and look out the door at them. By the time I haul myself over to the door, they are long gone.

One of the first bits of news I heard upon returning to the island was that there was a new "invasion" just down the road from us. Mexicans use the term invasion to refer to a group of squatters taking over a piece of land. This new one pushed it a little far. They camped on private property, already owned by a private individual, not the government.

Various attempts by the owner to roust them off his property failed. As a result, the police were brought in. Not the local ones. They refused to get involved. Instead we received truckloads of SWAT like State Police from Cancun. I believe the sirens were the trucks of enforcers arriving to forcibly remove the squatters.

Yesterday morning we were awakened by a group of very angry people marching by. Yelling, honking horns and just generally clogging up the road. Two hours later they all came rushing back by, in the direction of downtown. We decided to take a drive past this new squat. We didn't get very far before we saw this.






This was actually taken from my rear view mirror after they made us turn around. There was similar road block at the other end of the property line. Nobody was being let in or our and they were still there at dark last night.

We knew something was up because before we even got there, we had to maneuver around this.




These are boulders normally set up along side the road to stop wave damage during a hurricane surge.

We thought the excitement was over so we headed downtown to grab some breakfast. Pedro, the owner of Chicago Deli, filled us in on what we had missed.

It seems that angry crowd that had passed by our house next made a move on the Palacio downtown. They were denied entrance to the building so, like a typical mob, they gathered up what they could to do battle. In this case, mostly coconuts. They proceeded to then smash out the new floor to ceiling windows on the front of the building. I wish I had been there to see it yet glad I wasn't!




We strolled down to the Palacio so yours truly could try to get pictures of the damage for this post. I got pointed at by the police when they saw my camera so I left well enough alone.

As we were talking to people about what was going on on our peaceful, crime free little island, two men appeared out of nowhere and stormed the press conference that was going on in front. They were quickly subdued.







And taken away. Amongst many flashing cameras. And witnesses. Always a good thing to have lots of witnesses here when being subdued by the police.




I ran around to the other side of the park, knowing that they would pass by with the prisoners properly subdued in the back of the truck. The police were smart enough to not hand out their own form of justice in the back of the truck while there were so many cameras around.

I would not have wanted to be those two guys when they got a few blocks away though.
As this drama continues to unfold, I will keep you updated.

16 comments:

Jackie said...

Thanks Wayne. I saw some posts on message boards but as usual the replies turned to speculation, rumor and pointing fingers at other posters for not knowing the facts. It’s good to hear the story first hand from someone unbiased with no personal agenda.

Steve Cotton said...

I suspect we may see a bit more tension of this nature throughout the country. With elections just over a month away, I am surprised we have not seen more.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Oh my gosh.

Isla Deb said...

If VivaAerobus hadn't cancelled my flight, I'd be on my way to Cancun as I'm writing this. Can't say I'll miss all this kind of activity going on down there right now. Hopefully, that will be all over by the time I reschedule later this summer. Thanks for the update...I saw it on the boards, too.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the particulars but at least it's nice to see some swift action from the police.

cozzie laura said...

wow! in isla, too. I'm still waiting to hear how our public meeting went last night! here's hoping with a little less drama.

Jamqueen said...

Thanks, Wayne....Ditto what Jackie said ( that's just what I was going to write!)

Life's a Beach! said...

Wayne, I've seen justice dished out in the back of those trucks several times from a chair on Juarez. (Right before they rounded the corner to the old police station.) Wouldn't want to be in the back of that truck! Thanks for the update.

Coby said...

So...what are the underlying reasons? Is the hotel mentioned trying to build a new property and some eco-protectors are fighting to prevent this? That was the only situation I could come up with in my head. Thanks for the information - very interesting.

Anonymous said...

according to Por Esto, at the municipal bldg. shots were fired(into theair) and tear gas used to disperse the crowd.

great for tourism eh

el oso

Jonna said...

I saw a report of the 'invasion' in the paper here in Mérida. I thought it was that area down the road from your house. Interesting times.

KfromMichigan said...

Be careful Amigo!

Anonymous said...

I'm runnin' out of popcorn....

O Robert

Islagringo said...

Coby: what hotel? I didn't mention one?

All the rest of you - please see my update later today.

Coby said...

I'm an idiot :) My first read through I associated Palacio with some fancy hotel -- without even reading the municipal part!

Thanks for the update!

Michele in Playa said...

Thanks for the update Wayne. We had heard some rumblings of trouble when we were there last week, but all rumor and speculation. Thanks for keeping us all informed as best you can. Please stay safe.