12 December 2018 Newsletter

Happy Holidays, everyone! Despite several days of windy weather, isn’t it great to be living or visiting at the beach, as opposed to shoveling snow up north?

This Newsletter will cover the following topics:
Security updates regarding recent home break-ins and police activities
• A reminder about the Dec. 19 Snowbird/Expat Welcome Party and a link for you to RSVP
Hold the date: January 15 for a meeting to welcome Merida’s new US Consul General and the Yucatan’s new Director of Foreign Affairs
• Update on the Expat census survey – have you been counted yet?

Security Updates:

Over the past month, we have heard about three home break-ins that occurred in the Chelem/Churburna area. In only one of these cases, the homeowners went to the Fiscalia to report the crime and as a result, the robbers in this case were apprehended and put in jail.

If you are the victim of a crime, the only way to help the police apprehend criminals is to go to the Fiscalia office in Progreso and report the incident. Information on how to do this is included in the Beach Area News security brochure, located here on the Beach Area News website. Please note that if you require a translator one will be provided by the Fiscalia, but you may need to reschedule your visit. (If a translator is required, only the translator provided by the Fiscalia is acceptable.)

The police have informed us that they have at least one English-speaking officer on duty at all times. Here are their names and the cell phone number that they are using. (We suggest placing these names and the number in your Contacts list on your phone.)
• Carlos Fernando Burgos Becerra
• José Sánchez Toledo
Call the officer on duty at Cel: [2019: deleted  old number]

If you have an emergency, it is always best to call 9-1-1 first, in order to activate an immediate response. You can ask for an English speaker on this line, but in addition, if you wish assistance in English and are unable to reach someone at 911, you can call one of the officers above for assistance.

Over the past few days, there have been at least two incidents of municipal police officers requesting money directly from expats. Information regarding these illegal requests, including photos of the truck number and the officers involved, was provided to the Beach Area News team who alerted the Yucatan State Security Comandante. As a result, two officers were immediately fired and additional individuals were disciplined.

Please remember that state and municipal police officers are never allowed to request or receive money directly. The Yucatan security officials are serious about reducing police requests for money, and we can help them by never offering or paying money to a police officer. Instead, request a ticket from the officer, and if possible, note the number of the truck and the name of the officer; photos are best, and you do have the right to take them. You can send this information to team@beachareanews.com and we will forward the information to the appropriate officials. More information on what to do if an officer requests money and how to pay a ticket is located on our website.

As demonstrated by the recent response of the police leadership, if you report an incident of inappropriate police behavior, action will be taken.

On a related note, here is a brief article about the new Mexico President Lopez Abrador commenting on Yucatan’s status as “one of the safest states in the country.”

The City of Progreso has distributed a useful list of emergency and other phone numbers that you may wish to have handy. We have posted this list on our website here (that link will download a 1-page PDF file).

Dec. 19 Snowbird/Expat Welcome Party

The City of Progreso and the State of Yucatan Governor’s Office of Foreign Affairs are hosting a Welcome Party for snowbirds and expats in the Yucatan. Over 140 people have confirmed their participation, but there is room for more! The event will be held on Wednesday, December 19 from 5 pm – 7 pm at the Cultural Center in Progreso. Please take a moment to let us know you will be there by clicking on this link .

Save the date – January 15: There will be two meetings in Progreso on January 15 to provide information to snowbirds and expats. The first meeting, held from 2 pm to 3 pm will be an opportunity to meet the new US Consul General, Courtney Beale, and members of her staff. Representatives from Mexican Immigration and US Social Security will also participate in this informative meeting.

From 3 pm to 4 pm, the new Yucatan Coordinator of Foreign Affairs Lic. Ariadne Fernanda Morales Acevedo and her staff will provide information on the services provided by her office.  Representatives from Yucatan security will be available as well to answer your questions.

Both meetings will be held at the La Cola del Cocodrilo Restaurant (the Tail of the Crocodile) on Calle 40 x 23 y 25 in Progreso.  An invitation and more specific agenda information will be distributed after January 1.

Snowbird and Expat census survey: We are trying to get an accurate count of how many expats and snowbirds are in our area. More than 570 people have completed our census so far — have you? If not, please click this link to answer five simple questions. Your response is completely anonymous! And if you have completed the survey, Thanks! …and be sure to share this info with your expat and snowbird neighbors who may not have seen this information.

The Beach Area News Team wants to wish everyone a happy holiday season! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at team@beachareanews.com

The Beach Area News Team
Bob Rentz, Speranza Avram, Karen Cloutier, Dave Bloch and David Nevers