It really is a shame, I have had no problems in Colombia, until a local who I will refer to as our \’friend\’, thinks he can do exactly as he wants bought the properties either side of us, and I know I have gone on about this before, but you might as well have the whole saga.
Firstly he bought a one storey Finca, demolished it, and with a building permit for \’Repair\’ not \’New Build\’, he built a Building Supplies shop, which is about one and a half storeys high, with an apartment above, it did block out some of our view, but was not as bad as we first thought, and other than the fact it is not big enough for them, and they continually use the road to dump sand, gravel, which sometimes is brought on a Friday, and not moved until Monday, also they block the road with their vehicles, causing passing traffic to damage our property, it is not too bad!
However he then bought an illegal building on the other side of us, which was originally just a garage, but before we arrived, that had been turned into a Stationers shop for the local kids, and the owners brother illegally build an apartment above. The building is still illegal, mainly because it is three storeys high, and in rural areas you are only allowed two. However the brother sold the apartment to another brother, who also bought out his sister, so he had the whole building, but then started to add to it, so ourselves and another neighbour effected commenced legal action, in the middle of this, our \’friend\’ bought the building, and further extended it.
How he gets away with it I have no idea, we had the Town Hall come and do an inspection, and they said he will have to demolish the third floor, and block all the windows, because they access directly onto our land, there is no space between, and there has to be at least three meters. The building doesn\’t even have a septic tank there is no land to put one on, all their waste goes directly into the stream. However this process has to go to the next stage, and here comes the problem, the town hall are so far behind with their \’audiencias\’ (both sides attend and put their case) that they are still dealing with 2017, or so they say.
In the mean time, our \’friend\’ has leased the shop to Druggies, supposedly as a Barbers Shop, and the Apartment to another Druggie, who is the brother of the lad managing the Building Supplies, and the youth who was rampaging with a knife outside two months ago, he is dealing drugs from the property, the lads come openly every night, and the smell is terrible at times, but the Police show no interest. Our relationship has rapidly deteriorated, because they think every complaint comes from us, when in fact, very few do to avoid hassle, we know of many others.
To top this off, yesterday, they waited for Marcela to leave for work, and came to the gate mob handed, and accused me of ripping open their bin bags and putting the rubbish on their front, they didn\’t want to hear that another neighbours dogs had been the culprits, and I had no interest in making matters worse, I have security video footage of them doing this. They said I had to respect them… I think that was the final straw, because I told them that was the best joke I had heard this year, and shut the gate.
When I spoke to Marcela, who had gone for an appointment before work, she was up in arms, but I thought no more of, it, until the phone went, it was Marcela asking me to open the gate for her car, she had come home to deal with it.
I knew there was no stopping her, those of you who know me, know I am outspoken, but nothing compared with Marcela, so I went with her, to see the lad who manages the Building Supplies because he had been the mouthpiece for the others at the start, the youth running the Barbers Shop was called over, and he was totally arrogant, and when he faced up to Marcela, almost nose to nose, I pushed him back, and stood between them, before one or the other took a swing, it was then just a shouting match, because he had no intention of listening to Marcela about the rubbish or their parking of motorcycles obstructing our entrance, the culmination of this was he said the we \’were dead\’!
Heat of the moment… possibly, but here life is cheap, and threats like this can\’t be taken lightly.
Marcela did the right thing, she rang our \’friend\’, and told him what was going on, being the owner of the buildings, she asked for a meeting, which will probably be next week, and told him and in the mean time we were blocking his windows from our side, due to the problems, and they would stay blocked until the situation is resolved, which we did, before she returned to work.
I made sure all our security measures were working and in place,, but fortunately the rest of the day past peacefully, and when Marcela returned, as soon as they heard me opening the gate, they were out moving the bikes, which makes me think they are more mouth than action, but looks can be deceiving. Anyway Marcela informed me that she has spoken to the Commandant of the local National Police, and sought his advise, also she intends to go to the Fiscal, which is the Department that deals with all things criminal, but we need some more information before heading there.
This is a situation we could well do without!