Roble Unión: an obliterated community within Mérida City limits

Municipal President Renán Barrera Concha has said that he intends to be reelected for the third time as Mayor of Mérida, but there is a sector of the Yucatecan society who feel forsaken, who had been called “squatters” and “invaders”, who had found it necessary to settle in “irregular” lands, mainly in the Southside of the city.

These people say that the fact that they do not have a voter ID, is probably the reason why they do not get help from the municipal authorities. They claim that the Mayor of Mérida has practically never set foot in that area of the city.

The residents of these settlements have said that they want to dialogue and coordinate with the local authorities to “regulate the use of their lands”.

One of the largest irregular areas in Mérida is located in a place known as Colonia Roble Agrícola (commonly known as Roble Unión). Currently, this area, which does not have basic services such as electricity and running water, has approximately 300 houses made with wood, plastic, sheets, sticks, and cardboard, material which these people have collected from municipal garbage dumps and from the streets of Merida.

At Roble Union, the irregular settlers have managed to trace their own streets, and they have helped each other to build their homes. They currently occupy an area of land that comprehends 11 blocks.

The inhabitants of the aforementioned area, also have a community dining room, where they make their best effort to feed everyone in the Colonia three days a week because they can’t afford to open the dining room every day.

The lady in charge of the dining room said she has tried to contact the mayor of Mérida many times through social networks, but she has not been able to get a response.

According to the testimony of several Union Roble residents, so far, no municipal authority has come forward to try to evict them or to try to help them either.

With information from

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