What is a mayor to do when the CFE comes by to cut off the power because the bill hasn’t been paid? Arrest the linesmen, of course.
That’s what happened in Huixtla, Chiapas, where Mayor José Luis Laparra Calderón ordered the apprehension of three personnel from the Federal Electricity Commission who turned up to switch off the power at the municipal offices.
The three climbed a utility pole, turned off the electricity and climbed back down again only to land in the arms of municipal police, who placed them under arrest. Municipal employees then climbed up the pole themselves and reconnected the power supply.
The municipality owes the CFE 1 million pesos (US $50,000).
CFE sources told the newspaper Reforma that the utility company had approached the mayor with the intention of collecting at least some of the owed amount, but he refused to cooperate.
Meanwhile, three other CFE workers met a similar fate in the Oaxaca town of El Pescadito in San Miguel Soyaltepec.
After being without electricity for more than 15 days residents kidnapped the three in protest and demanded that the company reconnect the power supply.
The utility explained that its efforts had been impeded by a rise in the level of a river running through the region.
The state government was to send a team of representatives to resolve the situation.
Damage to the electrical grid was caused by storms two weeks ago.