Repair a pothole on a Oaxaca city street and you’re likely to get fined for it: filling baches, as they’re called, requires a permit.
Citizens who took it upon themselves to fix gaping holes in city streets were fined earlier this month for not having obtained the proper permits. Now they are demanding that authorities get the job done.
“We are an example of everything that a city should not be. A group of citizens covered a pothole and the municipal authority fined them,” said Jorge González Ilescas, a citizens’ representative. “The mayor has not visited this area because he has no intention of participating in its recovery.”
The municipal government’s efforts at patching the potholes amount to little more than filling them with dirt and stones, which is not a viable or lasting fix, citizens argue.
“There is not a single street in the city of Oaxaca, the metropolitan area of Xoxocotlán and Santa Lucía del Camino or San Jacinto Amilpas that is free of damage,” said Rubén, a taxi driver.
“We are waiting for the government’s response because it is the same everywhere. If we go through Nuño del Mercado it is ugly … the lower part of the IV Centenario bridge is a swimming pool. Periférico, Miguel Cabrera, Avenida Central and Manuel Ruiz, they are impassable,” he says, arguing that the temporary repairs the city does last only a few days.
“The main reasons why our streets are destroyed is first due to heavy rains, secondly because of the terrible work of previous administrations and because [the state water utility] does not do their job well,” Mayor Oswaldo García Jarquín said.
However, Governor Alejandro Murat made it clear this week that the responsibility for repairing city streets lies with the municipal government. “The potholes in the cities are the responsibility of the municipalities,” he said.
Source: Milenio (sp)