Foreigners Band Together For Safety

Forming neighborhood councils
BY: EDGAR GONZALEZ

Our lives don’t always run smoothly in Cabo, but solutions to our problems sometimes do lie within our grasp.

The neighborhood in Cabo San Lucas called El Tezal has for years been a target of burglaries. It seems like everyone has been hit, and many homes are uglied up with burglar bars.

But lately it’s been worse, with a wave of home burglaries that have created resolve in the neighborhood: The people are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

About two years ago the El Tezal citizens council was created. This council represents the interests of the residents of the area that covers from El Tezal to Rancho Paraiso including Punta Ballena and Santa Carmela. The president is Alan Humprie.

To get more information on this we talked to Justo Couto, spokesman for this council. He created their a security committee dedicated to assuring better security, as part of the council.

Their first solution was to improve communication by creating a "Whatsapp" group called Whatsappeando por tu seguridad" or "Whatsapping for your security".

Also, a chat was created for the security teams of each development to be in constant communication all the time.

But more was needed. So, the next step was to buy their own patrol car because the police claimed they didn’t have a vehicle to patrol.

council went straight to Comandante Zamorano, who is in charge of the Navy which is currently in charge of all security in Southern Baja, directing all the police.

El Tezal neighbors passed the sombrero and came up with enough money to buy a Nissan pickup. This program is called "Patrullaton", translated as "Patrolton". The books are open to all on their pagewww.tezal.org. The vehicle was donated to the city in an event the city officials attended and it was there they recognized the neighbor association’s proactive approach.

This Nissan sports the logo of the resident’s association and is now part of the local police fleet, but its main job is to patrol El Tezal. Maintenance and expenses of the vehicle are taken care by the city. El Tezal is a neighborhood of free-standing homes and some poorly guarded gated homes, really a collection of individuals who built or bought in that area over many years, making this even a more difficult achievement.

In another neighborhood hit by robberies, the owners are just now getting organized, but the developer, the Puerto Paraiso Residences, (on top of the mall), is making it difficult, refusing to provide a master list of owners.

There is no security Puerto Paraiso Residences, only smiley people in pith helmets that the developer admits are more like greeters/doormen placed near the entrance to give the foreigners the appearance of security. There are some cameras, but nobody is monitoring them.

Some condo owners have retained the services of a lawyer and are just now passing the sombrero to hire him to force the Homer Owners Ass. To call an assembly and to hire real guards. HOA dues average about $450 a month, there are about 50 units sold, so the income should be about $22,000 a month. For no security, no promised pool, and no promised parking and lots of construction problems. Stay tuned to how this organization proceeds, as it might be a good map of how others can unite to protect themselves.

In a country where the police are slow to react, we need to all pull together, cooperating with our neighbors.