Social discrimination, also present in the north of Mérida (The White City)

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I arrived 16 years ago in Montes de Amé, now turned into a luxury colony

A few meters from the Great Plaza and in the middle of spacious luxurious residences, the CO family lives, which year after year struggles to be able to pay the cost of living in an area that no longer accepts people with their economic condition. 

The five members of the family have suffered the consequences of the pandemic and unemployment in the middle of the Montes de Amé neighborhood, north of Mérida, where their neighbors do not know the economic backwardness. 

And despite living in a neighborhood considered luxurious, they suffer from the lack of access to one of the basic services: drinking water, which their neighbors, all new to the neighborhood and some of them are foreigners, never lack. 

According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), in Yucatan, there are 1,673,700 inhabitants who have at least one social deprivation. 

Mrs. YO, who prefers to omit her data to avoid confrontations, is one of them: although her husband’s income exceeds the Income Poverty Line, measured by Coneval, her family’s conditions classify her in the group that has a higher income but presents some social deficiency: water. 

“There are times when I run out of water for up to four days because in the area there are many condominiums with several apartments and there are many houses with a pool,” says the woman. 

YO recalls that when she arrived in Montes de Amé 16 years ago, the house her mother-in-law inherited from her husband was similar to that of her neighbors, whom she knew and with whom she lived in harmony. The property cost around 50 thousand pesos. 

Now, his home is lagging behind in growth and renovations: it does not have a majestic facade nor does it share the electric fencing that his neighbors have placed, who recently arrived in the area because those he knew sold and went to cheaper places, such as Ciudad Caucel. 

The street where their children were born has become hostile: many neighbors do not even speak Spanish, some are even aggressive; the doors only open to let out the luxury cars, the products in the nearby supermarket are also more expensive and the CO family does not feel comfortable going out. 

“We spend it locked up. We have to go to Chuburná mercado to do the shopping because the pantry here is very expensive, so I try not to take anything to avoid going out again ”, says YO

The conditions of her family in the Montes de Amé neighborhood worsened with the pandemic, as YO lost his job and her husband’s income decreased more than 50 percent, insufficient money to live in a “rich neighborhood”. 

“The electricity and the property are through the heavens and we were no longer enough to pay them. My husband does not want to leave the house because, although we know that they would pay us well, it has sentimental value for him and we have already decided that we will not leave like everyone who lived here, so my eldest son had to go to Canada to work ”, comments. 

YO’s family went bankrupt, but with a member out of the country, he hopes that the money will be enough to set up an automotive workshop that will allow him to generate more income to continue living in the home that the couple inherited and that is the only patrimony he owns. 

“We don’t want to think about leaving here, this is our home and we’d better go work to stay, even if my son is far from me,” the woman said crying. 

According to Coneval, one million 156 thousand 900 people live in poverty and only 452 thousand 100 people are considered non-poor and not vulnerable, that is, 19.3 percent of the total population of the state.

Source: lajornadamaya.mx

The Yucatan Post