“Parallel decentralization recharge:” patches on top of patches

crumbling away
Where the road has been crumbling away next to the editor’s usual local bus stop. Photo by Eric Jackson.

The PRD putting “hands to work”

by Eric Jackson

Waiting for the bus into the town of Anton from El Bajito on Tuesday morning, I saw the representante’s crew busy making patches. They did work, it was hard and dirty labor, they didn’t have the equipment or materials to do an excellent and long-lasting job, but it will get us by for a while.

The road from the Pan-American Highway to here — and then beyond to San Juan de Dios, Altos de la Estancia and El Valle — has been a worse than usual mess under the current administration. First thing after the change of government in 2019, they took down the “no heavy trucks” signs and stopped staffing the weigh stations on the main highway. 

Business-friendly? Depends on the business. Along with the signs urging a vote for him or her or them, there are now some signs against the stone, sand and gravel mining in the area’s rivers. It’s not so much to save the streams, but to save the roads from the wear and tear of the heavy gravel trucks.

And the public works projects? Not so much to provide excellent roads, but to put voters who need the jobs to work, especially if they can be counted upon to vote for the representantes in question. La Prensa has done some extensive and interesting reporting on how the “decentralization” funds to local councils have been doled out. It’s no big surprised that the places run by the PRD, or their sometimes junior partners in MOLIRENA or the Yanibel faction of CD, get the lion’s share. And then some.

The legislature appropriated more than $200 million in decentralization funds essentially to affect the PRD primary, and now that the date for that has come and gone, just added another $18 million “recharge.” So in Juan Diaz de Anton, the patched road gets more patches.

A pre-primary paving job in the neighborhood, not especially high-quality. Photo by Eric Jackson.

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