In Mexico, you know you have a crisis on your hands when bureaucrats and elected officials start politicizing a public safety issue. That's what happened this week with Mexico City's critical water shortage.
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, a leftist PRD man, shot back pointedly at José Luis Luege, the head of the national water commission (a federal outfit, and therefore in the hands of the conservative PAN), who suggested that the city government was exaggerating the shortage at the Cutzamala System and other water-banks that serve the city. Ebrard said Luege "needs a class in geography" to understand how deeply the 36-hour 100-percent shut-off that started at 11 a.m. on Thursday will affect Mexico City residents over the weekend. He also told reporters that Luege should not to act like a "chistoso" in the face of such a crisis. Whoa.
We'll see Friday and Saturday how things get in certain boroughs. Right now, residents in Tlalpan and Iztapalapa are clamoring the most for those water trucks. The most unnerving part is, no matter what the official voices are saying on which areas will be affected, and when, you really never know when your water is going to go. I've heard anecdotal reports that water flow is shutting off and coming back on pretty much arbitrarily all over the place.
El Universal is gathering its coverage of the water crisis at a special report online. Go there for video and more details.
* Image above, screen grab from El Universal TV. * Previously, "Twenty million people, and no water?"