Stop the Destruction of Barra de Potosi

by ElAleman, Sunday, March 06, 2011, 23:40 (2472 days ago)

On January 12, 2001 FONATUR obtained the concession to build a cruise ship pier. That would destroy livelihoods, the Barra itself and the mangroves which are the habitat of more than 200 bird species. Please join our cause on facebook to defend our paradise.

No a la destruccion de Barra de Potosi

Unfortunately most of the documents we posted are in Spanish but we are working on the translation of some of them.

Stop the Destruction of Barra de Potosi

by D-Loco, Monday, March 07, 2011, 02:09 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

Ugh! Why dont they go out to Playa Linda. They've torn so much up and built from the golf course to the Melia, it would fit in so much more than it would to tear up such a humble village.

"Old News"

by tj, Monday, March 07, 2011, 07:54 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

If your date of 2001 is correct, that's old news, don't ya think. I don't ever want to see Barra distroyed but if given the ok back then, one would think if it was going to happen, it would have happened when the economy was good.

"Old News" - Sorry of course 2011

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 08:09 (2472 days ago) @ tj

Sorry tj; we are talking about what is happening right now!

"Old News" - Sorry of course 2011

by tj, Monday, March 07, 2011, 08:14 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

Darn, wish your first posted date was correct. Now you ruined my day!

"Not Old News"

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 08:30 (2472 days ago) @ tj

Sorry tj; that was not intended. But if we want to protect that area we must wake up and do something.

Villas-Tuparaiso - Your spot in Barra de Potosi

!! Stop the Destruction of Barra de Potosi - No old news !!

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 08:25 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

On January 12, 2011 FONATUR obtained the concession to build a cruise ship pier. That would destroy livelihoods, the Barra itself and the mangroves which are the habitat of more than 200 bird species. Please join our cause on facebook to defend our paradise.

No a la destruccion de Barra de Potosi

Sorry for the typo in the first post.

Avatar

Respect and community unity

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, March 07, 2011, 08:52 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

Just some helpful advice since I have been helping to inform folks about this problem since long before you moved here. Please be respectful towards doña Laura. She has earned much respect of the locals for her efforts to improve the community and to help protect it. Working together with doña Laura and her friends will go much further towards helping to preserve and protect the community and the ecology than a gazillion Facebook "friends" from other places. You were quite disrespectful towards her the last time we discussed this matter here, and seeing as in comparison to doña Laura you are the "new kid on the block" your disrespectfulness towards her here leaves you "the odd man out", if you understand that idiomatic expression.

A united community is a force to be reckoned with here in Guerrero. A divided community is a plaything for influential and unscrupulous public servants and their developer cohorts in crime.

Also, here in Zihuatanejo the barradsepotosinos have many important allies who are doing a good job so far of keeping FONATUR honest as well as keeping their ambitions at bay. FONATUR claims they have no plans to develop a cruise ship pier at Barra de Potosí, though we all suspect they are only referring to current plans. Government entities are masters of playing with semantics.

Local fishermen at La Barra stand as much if not more to lose than Zihuatanejo fishermen, so it behooves La Barra fishermen to remain in close touch with their Zihuatanejo counterparts and to attend the upcoming meetings planned with FONATUR.

The motto of the US state where I was born is "UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL". I believe it would be smart to remember that same saying here among us.

[image]

Respect and community unity

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 10:08 (2472 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Hi Rob,
thanks for your advise and I'm not intending to start a polemic discussion because the issue we are talking about is too sensitive. So just for your information: we are working together with ROGAZ and the Zihua Fishermen (today a 2 pm we will have a meeting here in Barra with them; at 5 pm there is a meeting in Zihua to set up a commite and to define the name of the movement; tomorrow will be a meeting in Ixtapa), we are participating on the Sunday envening meetings at Zihua harbor, we have set up several working groups among several organization here in Barra, we are in touch with several environmental organization which may help us to defend Barra and a lot more.

So if you are talking about respect than it is not fair to accuse me that all I'm doing are gazillion Facebook "friend" without knowing the whole scope.

If you want to talk seriously on the issue tell me when and where and I'll be there. I will not answer to all that on your message board because the threat we are facing is too serious and we should not spend our energy on personal differences.

The goal of the meeting today is exactly to bring the different groups together, to fight and stand united, as that is the only way we can beat FONATUR.

Avatar

Respect and community unity

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, March 07, 2011, 11:06 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

Thank you Eugen for your informative and encouraging reply.

Regarding "beating" FONATUR. Most locals here in Zihuatanejo are not convinced that "beating" FONATUR should be the goal or even an issue. Most locals are anxious to have FONATUR invest in improving our local services. To that end I believe that there may be some erroneous perceptions and convictions. Considering that no communities in Petatlán currently have anything resembling a functioning wastewater treatment plant (meaning that pretty much every arroyo and río leading into Laguna de Potosí is polluted), and also considering that like most of Petatlán La Barra lacks important infrastructure, it may behoove the La Barra community to keep that in mind while negotiating with FONATUR, since they may be able to fill some of these important needs with their vast budget.

Regarding the concession to FONATUR PORTUARIA S.A. de C.V. by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, it looks to the trained eye like a clear case of influence peddling that resulted in certain wording being included in the concession. Thus, it may be a better strategy to approach it from that angle instead of looking to cancel the concession entirely.

Most folks locally are convinced that despite certain shortcomings of FONATUR, it is possible to have them as an ally with certain constraints. This coming from someone who has spent years in litigation with them (winning every time thanks to our excellent lawyer, Lic. Lucas Nava Brito). We may not consider FONATUR to be our "friends", but likewise we should not consider them "the enemy". It appears that only certain elements within their bureacracy are influence peddling, and they should not be too difficult to identify and expose. It should be much easier to modify the concession in a manner much more satisfactory to locals once the influence peddlers are exposed for what they are. We should all be looking for some assistance from friends such as our federal diputados and the governor-elect. We should also be making our concerns heard to people close to Enrique Peña Nieto who will undoubtedly be our next Presidente de la República. This is how we beat the greedy unscrupulous folks who shun publicity and who seek to take advantage of corrupt elements in our government.

Respect and community unity

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 12:17 (2472 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Hi Rob; it seems that we are now on the same channel ...
What refers to the actions let me tell you that one outcomming from the meeting in the pier of Zihua yesterday was that our goal should be the revocation of the concession; of course the fishermen coops and the tourist organization might not be the mayority of the locals but as far as I understood, the meeting is open for each group within the "locals". So let's come back: what we need is Unity!. And that unity can only be archieved if the diffent groups are working together and on agreed goals. So, if "most locals here in Zihuatanejo are not convinced that "beating" FONATUR should be the goal or even an issue" lets come together and talk.

I agree totally with you that there are a lot of things that should be done in the area of Petatlán. But I do not believe that there is a margin of negotiation with FONATUR. We are talking about destruction and I can not accept "a litte bit of destruction" against a drinking water system; another bit against a black and grey water treatment plant and so on.

This kind of infrastructure is responsibility of the municipio of Petatlan, the Government of Guerrero and the Federal Government - not of FONATUR.

I also share your judgment on Lic. Lucas Nava Brito; if I remember well he was actively participating in the defense of the private properties in Barra de Potosi when the construction company "Scorpion" wanted "to take over the village" with falsificated property titles around 10 years ago.

What refers to further action we already sent petitions to President Calderon, to the Governor of Guerrero Zeferino Torreblanca, to the elected Governor of Guerrero Angel Aguirre, to the Major of Petatlán, to federal and local deputies, to SEMARNAT, to Greenpeace, to CEMDA and some other organizations. What refers to Enrique Peña Nieto, I want to abstain any comment.

Again, we are working on the defense of the almost 16 billion square meters (wich includes Barra de Potosi)which were given in concession to FONATUR

Avatar

Respect and community unity

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, March 07, 2011, 12:56 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

Excellent!

Regarding the government of Petatlán, I'm not sure if you are aware of just how limited they are due to the fact they have very little tax base. Most inhabited land in Petatlán is ejido land, which is exempt from paying the predial. So that pretty much leaves the state and federal governments. The state has for the most part ignored Petatlán over the years. I don't expect that to change. Their interests have historically resided in Acapulco where big money is alongside a huge electorate. The incoming governor is from the Costa Chica, so don't expect his loyalties to wander too far from "home", although we enjoyed relative prosperity under him after he took over when Figueroa was forced to resign in the early 90's.

Since the Costa Grande faces similar problems all up and down its coast, a current federal deputy from our region, Armando Ríos Piter, may be more motivated to help, since he is likely to become the next governor after Ángel Aguirre in 6 years and should be looking to cultivate loyalties in the region. This means convincing folks from other parties to engage in dialogue with him, which can be a bit problematic among the hard-core party members but not impossible.

I wouldn't get my hopes up for any assistance from PROFEPA or SEMARNAT whom I view as just as much a part of the problem as the influence peddlers. I haven't seen any promising support from Greenpeace regarding ecological problems in our region either. I believe this matter is going to be better resolved by dealing with individuals in the right places instead of by dealing with groups of outsiders whose priorities are all over the place.

The danger with cancelling the concession outright is of course losing the money to do the things we need to get done, money for important things that simply doesn't seem to be available from other sources. And since it seems the influence peddling is taking place at the federal level regarding the current matter, more care must be taken regarding whom you deal with. The DF is a looooooooong ways from Barra de Potosí, and frankly the less influyentes who know about it the better, IMHO. Careful we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. ;-)

Respect and community unity

by ElAleman, Monday, March 07, 2011, 13:10 (2472 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Armando (among others) has already confirmed the receipt of our petition; let's see what will happen. By the way, I'm aware of the financial problems of Petatlán and the difficulties to get huger assignments of state or federal participations.

Avatar

Respect and community unity

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, March 07, 2011, 13:40 (2472 days ago) @ ElAleman

By the way, I'm aware of the financial problems of Petatlán and the difficulties to get huger assignments of state or federal participations.

Then it should follow that we should not look a gift-horse in the mouth (excuse me if I use too many idiomatic expressions, I don't know if you are familiar with all of them). That is why I bring up the fact that most locals support FONATUR investing money to do things that up until now no one else has been able to get done, though I don't believe that support includes developing a marina or tourist development at La Barra, a place I believe most of us hope to see preserved.

Locals are frustrated by the years of inaction by all levels of government to deal with many problems that have now become severely acute and unproportionally gotten out of hand. If only the existing laws on the books had been correctly and uniformly applied over the years, then no concession could ever have been granted that would affect the lagoon at La Barra, and no sewage water would be entering Zihuatanejo's bay, among the myriad of other problems we would not be currently faced with.

The people at ROGAZ and many of the local fishermen are long time friends and acquaintances, but they cannot dismiss the point of view held by the rest of the community either.

Please remember the importance of perception. Something doesn't have to be true in order to motivate people, it only needs to be perceived as true. So far the government has used this against the opponents of FONATUR's concession. I think it's a 2-way street, but the problem is with credibility, and as much as I admire and respect my friends at ROGAZ and among the fishermen, I think it is clear that among the general population they have a credibility problem that needs to be taken into account. This caused us some problems a few years ago when fighting the construction of a pier in Zihuatanejo's bay the general concensus among locals who organized to fight the project was that the ecologistas should not be our primary spokespeople because of a general perception of them as being argumentative and inconsistent. That is why it is important to make use of local people who are either trusted and respected by a majority or who may even be relatively unknown when dealing with officials in government. Doña Laura is one of the absolute best spokespersons that La Barra has available. ;-)