Boy, These Guys From Citricos S.A. Are Being Real Pricks...
Saturday, August 15 2009 @ 02:29 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Annotated Overhead View: In this annotated satellite imagery you can see the general layout of things. Dan Miller informs me this image is about four years old or so, and the house they have built on their property is not reflected in this image, and the small shack that was on their farm has since been removed. But in any case you can clearly see the 400 meter long access road as well as the outline of the Miller's property. (The unbelieveable pricks at) Citricos S.A. dug three ditches across this road last night, one at the gate to the Miller's property, one in the middle of the citrus grove, and one at the very end of the access road where it intersects with the main road.
It's Been Like 40 Years or More: From what I understand the Miller's have everything going in their favor from a legal point of view. The access road appears on the official "Tommy Guardia" maps. It's been recognized by the Ministry of Public Works as a public access road. It's been there and has been used by the community for about 40 years or more. And, when challenged, the local courts and governmental authorities have stepped up and decided in favor of the Millers, and they have ordered Citrico's S.A. to knock it off. But the company is ignoring these orders and continues to do this bullshit.
I Tried To Contact The Company: I got the number from Citricos S.A from their website and tried to call the company. There was no answer, and I'll try again on Monday morning. I want them to explain their position to me, although I suspect I already know what they will say. They don't want the Miller's to be allowed to drive through their citrus farm anymore. What, were they stealing mangos or something? Anyway, I'm sure the company will continue to make their points in the courts, and I suspect the courts will continue to reject their claims and counter-claims, but in the meantime someone really needs to step in and FORCE these guys to stop being such pricks. OK, there's a dispute - we got it. But digging ditches and ignoring court orders is basically acting like a little bitch - but armed with a backhoe. I guess their point is it's their land so they are perfectly within their rights to dig a ditch anywhere they want on their land, right? But doing so in order to block vehicular access to a senior citizen who is suffering from cancer and who needs to be able to leave his property in order to attend medical treatments is well beyond my ability to comprehend. I don't want to go up there myself to see this one because, well, it just would not be a wise move on my part. It wouldn't be pretty. (I'm thinking, take the backhoe and commence to flatten about 500 citrus trees or something similar, just for starters.)
They Got Money: According to their website, "Citricos S.A. is the largest cultivator of oranges and lemons in Panama, with more than 4,000 hectares designated to the cultivation, harvest, and processing of these fruits. Our specialty is the production of frozen concentrate of the juices of tropical fruits..." A company this large and successful couldn't come up with a peaceful solution? Find another way around? Create another access road somewhere else? Live in peace and harmony? They have to put a huge padlock on the gate and make these people not virtual prisoners, but actual prisoners of their own property? I mean, what the fuck?
The Media Is All Over It: This company Citricos S.A. is doing the "bang myself in the forehead with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop" routine. This really is self-destructive behavior. In fact, there's almost no way this comes out being a "win" for Citricos S.A. And for the life of me I can't figure out what's actually motivating them. Sheer macho bullshit? I just don't get it. Anyway, this story has enough legs to go international, and I suspect the eventual outcome will be the government of Panama grabbing the people who are behind Citricos S.A. by the ear and holding them down until the temper tantrum subsides. Then, they will be forced to open the access road. Eventually. But in the meantime, we're still playing these bullshit games.
Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.