BAJA CALIFORNIA.- In recent weeks, the citizens of Baja California have caught the attention of the national press for demanding answers from politicians in the region about their decisions when it came to the Tax Reform, as well as the regulations in the Guadalupe Valley. Some of these pols have even gone as far as calling grassroots demands as threats from “lynching mobs."
In truth, it is more like citizens saying “if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, popping their “I'm a respectable politician” bubble. The reality is that these positions were given to politicians by the people and the logical thing would be to serve the people's interest. Regretfully, it was not like this and now they are “afraid of being lynched by the citizens.”
Where does this fear come from? So far we have seen reports of several politicians requesting protection for fear of repercussions on behalf of citizens. Some media outlets have even said that citizens are being violent, even though they are only asking for a response, such is the case with the groups “Republic of Baja California” and “Baja California Despierta”, who on several occasions have invited the politicians involved to open dialog and explain the motives behind their votes and decisions. These invitations have been rejected and never even answered.
Firstly, there are congressmen who represent border states in Mexico that have been requesting increased personal security out of a fear that something might happen to them. Much has also been said in Baja California about Congressmen who “betrayed the people” and their state by voting in favor of the recently passed Tax Reform and some its key elements, which many fear will stifle Baja's economic edge it needs in order to compete with the U.S market. Congressmen Elia Cabañas, Chris López, Ana Lilia Garza, Fernanda Schroeder, Adán Ruiz and Benjamín Castillo have already been singled out as “persona non-grata” and will be the targets of a citizen's rejection campaign, as well as businesses in the region and other service providers. Despite the fact that they continue to request protection, up until now none of them have taken the time to publicly explain their actions to the people who chose them as their representatives.
The other case is the terrible situation at the Guadalupe Valley, where last week, members of the Ensenada city council quickly approved an ordinance during a secret meeting. City Council members Hilda Chanes Miranda (PVEM), Antonio Lomelí Sedano (PRI), Alberto Moreno Garayzar (PANAL), Raymundo De la Mora Arvide (PRI), Adriana Lencioni Ramonetti (PRI), Joaquín Bolio Pérez (PRD), and Lorenzo Cárdenas Zertuche (PT) approved changes to the land management laws in the Guadalupe Valley that would make it easier for developers to obtain construction permits, thus endangering the Valley's sustainability, say activists.
Apparently it easier to accuse the media of being responsible for a bad image and mishandling information, but just like in the previous case, they haven't explained to the citizens the motives behind their actions, as the popular phrase goes “He who has nothing to hide has nothing to fear”. This past Monday they held a press conference where these ideas were expressed, an outrage against the media for mishandling information and against those who rejected the measure taken this past weekend, however they did not give a clear explanation about their decisions.
Baja California is still restless and the processes for a massive amnesty against the tax reform are underway, these are examples of the situation. Congressmen, Councilmen and other government officials and politicians will continue to be in the eye of the storm until they understand that you do not bite the hand that feeds and that the answers the people are looking for are not a courtesy but rather an obligation that comes with the job.
The citizens have not taken their finger off the line and the organizations like “Republica de Baja California” and “Baja California Despierta” have requested the support of citizens in the creation of measures which will perpetuate citizen's movements, some options are the mega-march, citizen's participation forums, legal actions, awareness campaigns, among others.