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Red Alert at City Hall: Water Sabotage Suspected

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 14 January, 2011

(Acapulco, 14 January) Acapulco’s mayor, José Luis Ávila Sánchez, has complained that in one week four major water main leaks have been reported, leading him to believe that outsiders are purposefully damaging Acapulco’s water distribution system. “Today we have another suspicious leak on Cuauhtémoc. This comes to four leaks just this week, and we are on ‘red alert.’ It is presumed that it is a boycott [sic] by outsiders who provoke, ignorantly and without any need, conflicts in Acapulco.” He said that the four leaks were along the same stretch of streets (where the new “Bicentennial Overpass” has been built) and that “suspicious hands” open the water valves, increasing the pressure to the point of making the pipes leak. He said “Acapulco does not need this, Acapulco does not deserve this, and we should not allow this to happen in Acapulco. Stop looking for bad things in Acapulco and get back to work. Those who sew the wind will reap the whirlwind. It is time for effort, not complaints,” he said.

Director of Public Works, Eduardo Iglesias Aragón, said he would personally file criminal complaints against anyone found interfering with CAPAMA’s infrastructure. Even though the water lines are between 30 and 40 years old, he said the problem of the recent leaks is the result of opening the valves to the point where the increased water pressure causes leaks.

This official announcement seems to be another salvo in the credibility battle between the current City Hall and the Añorve gubernatorial campaign on the one hand, and their political opponents and rivals on the other. The PRD-controlled state legislature has summoned the mayor to account for the expenditures on the bicentennial overpass and for the several post-inauguration repairs that closed it down for brief periods. Sabotage would be an effective defensive posture, if the mayor could make it believable. CAPAMA, on the other hand, has been in the daily newspapers for years for its leaky system, which seems to defy repair and almost always denies water service to at least some neighborhoods in the city. The mayor provided no evidence of sabotage other than his logical deduction, and he did not explain how outsiders could have access to the water system’s main valves. Until January 30, virtually every official pronouncement is susceptible to interpretation according to electoral politics