- Interview with Policardo Mirino Sanchez / Una Entrevista con Policardo Mirino Sanchez
- Interview with Policardo Mirino Sanchez
This interview was conducted on May 14, 2007, in Cuitlahuac, Veracruz, Mexico.
ROWELL: Are you the President of the Cuitlahuac municipality?
SANCHEZ: No, I'm not a President; the President is not here. I'm the Trustee. That's the job that I have here.
ROWELL: Were you elected to this position?
SANCHEZ: Yes. I was chosen by popular vote.
ROWELL: How long is the term of the position: one year, two years…?
SANCHEZ: Three years.
ROWELL: Are you up for re-election again?
SANCHEZ: No, I can't serve again.
ROWELL: You have only one term?
SANCHEZ: Yes. I mean, you can try again, but you have to wait three years. Now you can't—maybe later you can be re-elected, but now we can't. We have to go.
ROWELL: Is the position of President the highest one in the municipality, or are you in the highest position as Trustee?
SANCHEZ: In first place is the President, then the Trustee. That's the second one. So there are things that I can do, things that the President can do. And he can't do things that I can do. I do the job of representing the municipality. I offer legal representation before businesses, or in problems the municipality might have with businesses or what have you. [End Page 82]
ROWELL: Will you describe the general structure of government here. As I told you earlier, I did not understand what is meant by being a part of the municipalities. There seem to be different villages, different cities in this one municipality. You mentioned earlier, too, that Córdoba is not part of this. Will you describe the governmental structure that you're a part of?
SANCHEZ: In this municipality, there's only a president, a trustee and three legislators. Then there are area directors. In other municipalities, like Córdoba, which is big, there are thirteen legislators. The legislators are distributed on the basis of population. From there, the municipality has municipal agents. They're the ones that represent. For instance, there's a municipal agent that represents three or four communities. That's the means of communication we have for many things. For instance, in making a request or some aid, that's our means of communication. When we have to spread the word about something, we address the municipal agent. When somebody for instance requests proof of residency, and we don't really know if the person actually does live there, it's the municipal agent who knows the person and can confirm that he lives there. Then we make the proof of residency, but it's based on what the municipal agent tells us. We have a regent. There are some lands that are communal that are essentially not private property but something that belongs to the federal government. Only parcel certificates were sought and certain restrictions were imposed. Nowadays, it's not like it was before, where someone would put up a fence and tomorrow, somebody removes it and puts it elsewhere. Now, everything's been divided for about 15 years. We no longer have problems with that type of thing. Nevertheless, the places where the population is now is private property, and that's where it's the regent's duty to measure. He checks that the size of each plot of land against the request of whoever's asking for the measurement.
ROWELL: So I assume that if the people in Mata Clara wanted something, they would have to come to the municipality to make that request.
SANCHEZ: Yes, that's the way it works.
ROWELL: What is the relationship of the municipality to state government?
SANCHEZ: It's a good relationship. There's a lot of opportunities to ask for help. There is the means for it. For instance, when there are people with few resources and, for instance, they need a prosthesis, they make their request here at DIF (the National System for the Integral Development of the Family). And the state...