Loss and crime prevention at home is a whole area of speciality in the vast world of security. I tried the Internet and the words Residential Security came back with 2,735,758 options! Definitely, this is a GOOD business. Large organizations such as embassies, international or governmental agencies have officers who are experts in this important aspect of protection. The well-being of those close to you, and your own safety simply cannot be over-emphasized. The more interest you place on this issue at the right time, the more prepared you will be to prevent problems in the future. In Security Corner you will obtain an easy to read summary of what is most relevant if your corporate firm is not able to provide you with someone experienced to make pertinent recommendations. 
General Considerations

Whether you live in Mexico City, Cancún, San Miguel de Allende, or any other point in the Mexican Republic, the first rule is that you should become completely familiar with the city, town, village you’ve selected as your new home. Colonias, barrios (neighborhoods) are what we use to identify the area we live in. If Federal District or D. F. is where you live, you should know that this is the largest city in the world. We have more than 22 million inhabitants, adjacent metropolitan –neighboring states- included. A place of this proportion has places that are ugly, dangerous ( especially if you live next door to a gas refinery or where they make firecrackers), pretty, posh, commercial, industrial, neighborly and areas – as in every capital in the world – you should keep a good distance from if crime is a problem.

Mexico City from a Helicopter

It’s difficult to hop in any taxi cab these days. So, allow me to take you visit the areas that may attract you the most. Ride with me in a helicopter to take a look at what is behind fascinating Mexico City. I believe this is a unique opportunity to give you an idea of the incredible contrasts that the D. F. offers us all. You will visit aristocratic Santa Fe, Lomas de Chapultepec and Bosques de las Lomas and also the city dump behind the international airport, crime-ridden Tepito and Ciudad Neza, among other interesting areas. In seconds you’ll go from one extreme of the city to the other. Fasten your seat belts, Oscar Ruiz –our able pilot- is taking us on a photographic trip: Aerial Photographs of Mexico City (English) Every city, town is different. If, let’s say, you’ve chosen industrious Monterrey as your new city, keep in mind the noisy buses that use diesel and emit black smoke. Pachuca –State of Hidalgo capital- is so windy that it’s gained the name of La Airosa. Places in Veracruz city and port along the Gulf of Mexico coastline are breath-taking. Please become familiar with the immensity of Mexico and the wonderful places we have to live in. I highly recommend these useful Links: or to assist you in this process.

What Makes a Place Attractive 

Whether you live in an upscale neighborhood or in a working class area in any city, these are VERY IMPORTANT things to consider before you move in a new place:

  • Daily commuting from home to work and vice versa
  • If you have a family, your kids’ school
  • If you drive, parking. Also, that 24-hours a day you can come in or leave –driving- without any complication
  • If you don’t have a car, consider a bus line, subway station, taxi stand (sitios) nearby
  • Markets, grocery stores, laundry, restaurants, hospital, police & fire station
  • If you exercise, parks –safe areas to run on
  • Religious? A church nearby
  • Friends, acquaintances in the vicinity
  • Yes! Get online on your computer and research again and again on the Internet until all answers to your questions have been satisfied.

A Note about Earthquakes

MOST OF MEXICO is prone to earthquakes: We sit on the St. Andrews fault, which begins in Alaska and ends at the South Pole. Its the same in most of the US and Canada, especially along the Pacific coastline. My experience –contrary to what many foreign experts will advise you- is that there is no really safe place anywhere. In Mexico City, Embassies in the past recommended staying away from Roma, Condesa, Valle, Narvarte, and downtown. The areas devastated in the 1985 earthquake. Wrong: same areas in the past were not affected at all. On March 14, 1979 Ibero Americana university building in southern Churubusco collapsed. Nothing major occurred in this area in 1985. More historic facts –in Spanish- about this, here

I have two highly detailed, useful articles with extensive research on this issue. I encourage you to become familiar these. You’ll sleep better at nights, as long as your home is insured. If the place you intend to move into is not protected by natural disaster insurance, you ought to warn your landlady or landlord. If your residence or apartment is under construction, get someone knowledgeable about these contingencies, especially if the place is being built next to or near the ocean, a river, lake, forest, volcano, hill or a cliff. You can get paranoid about these things for no reason. Once you’ve studied all there is to know about the selection of your place, follow what is below and .. relax and enjoy it! 

What to do BEFORE you move in 
Before you move into your new place, it is important that you conduct a survey of any possible security improvements to your residence, whether it is an apartment or a house. This is of the utmost importance if you own the property. In the absence of a checklist that contains all the necessary requirements you can make a copy of the list below. Go over it. If improvements are necessary, then your employer may be able to insist or request that the landlord makes them, preferably before the lease is signed. Alternatively, you could negotiate with the landlord if you are the direct tenant.  
Ten Basic Precautions 
Each highlighted topic may serve you to navigate the Internet and provide you with a wide range of options. Again, physical security is rich, varied: It can get to sophisticated, modern surveillance equipment that may include TV cameras remotely operated, via satellite, from your laptop computer at home, office. The limit is your money and mind. What you will find below is mostly common-sense basic rules. These precautions may include but are not limited to simple things such as: 
1. Security lighting, which may consist of not only the house and its access points, but the building interior and front, if an apartment. Always consider solenoid and movement switches. These activate a group of selected lights - in your absence - to make the place appear occupied. The same, lights get activated in hallways only when someone enters a building, allowing you to save money in electricity bills. Consider the installation of your own emergency electricity plant in case of blackouts, failure in electric supply. 
2. Physical barriers to include grille work on doors, and any other possible deterrents to illegal entry, such as Security locks. You will find many firms that specialize in this specific areas of concern. Include fire extinguisher & first aid kits
3. Perimeter security, including the use of guards. A dog can be useful for additional intruder detection, rather than protection. Delicate issue if your guards are not well paid, have a rewarding incentive program. Think of kidnapping, inside jobs. Most private security companies make their business by contracts that include massive clients and you may be just one in their vast program. Most of the executives in these firms make a nice income and pay very little to the men, women who will end up guarding your residence. Be Careful!! It is always preferable to have your own trusted guard, train him. The friendlier the relationship and serious expectations of his/her performance, the better.  
4. Communication in the form of a cellular phone or a walkie-talkie radio with your employer and supervisor is essential in the event of an emergency. The same with family members. Learn to use techniques to report problems by using key words. Prevent child molestation or reduce the chance of becoming possible targets by implementing internet security devices. Also as a responsible parent, being around to supervise is recommended. I have one article with extensive research on the area of Children’s Security. Read it.  
5. Alarms may be useful. However, they require continued maintenance and they are not always reliable. They get accidentally activated by birds, kids, falling trees, branches, etc. Response time to fix unexpected problems by Mexican companies -especially in remote residential areas- is not always what you’d expect. Alarms are a valid option if these make you feel safer. Remember that alarms are NO GOOD if after intruder detection no one is around to respond effectively, in your absence. Proper INSURANCE PROTECTION in the event of theft, fire, explosion, accidents, natural disasters to include earthquakes, flooding, cyclones, land slides is of the utmost importance, especially if you own your new place. 


6. Property boundaries legally define the areas in residences or apartments that are yours as a Tenant. Being aware of what is your leased property is important, especially so when sharing common ground with neighbors.

7. Parking is a very important consideration in Mexico City or large, busy urban areas anywhere. If in an apartment building, make sure you identify your assigned lot and most importantly, take steps to claim it for your exclusive use. Ensure you can drive in and out at odd hours. Battery parking may not be acceptable in an emergency situation, such as fire or other contingencies. 
8. Your domestic employees will be the subject of a screening process. You will initiate this with an interview, conduct an investigation and assess the results. I will talk about this in more detail below. Furthermore, the employees should clearly understand your Visitors' Control procedures, especially in your absence. They must always have crime loss and prevention in mind if your children are under their responsibility. Procedures include proper procedures for picking up your child and taking him/her to school. Rehearse with employee several times until you are satisfied. You will train him to report any remarks, comments made by teachers about your kid or anything they see or construe as suspicious. They should be aware of a whole array of procedures –through you- starting with how to pick up a simple phone call.  
9. Become familiar with your neighborhood, identify your closest emergency services and make sure all family members know what to do and are familiar with dialing procedures to ask for medical assistance or police.

10. Last but not least, make sure you establish your own simple rules for self-protection, such as keeping your drapes closed, and keep yard and perimeter lights on at nights. Solenoid switches are available locally at reasonable cost. These activate your lights at night and turn them off automatically when daylight appears. These are extremely useful. Always being alert is important. 
Domestic Employees 
This is an area that requires special attention in residential security. When you leave your home to go to work, you leave behind, with persons you hardly know, the most precious part of your life, your family –spouse, parents, children. If a bachelor living alone, your possessions. Not spending sufficient time reviewing and assessing this area of concern + taking this issue lightly = the consequences are unpredictable. In reality, it’s is actually quite simple. If you are a new arrival –or already a resident- most people you trust at work, school, friends, acquaintances are persons well established in the Community. If you ask for references, they will be happy to assist. Their own domestic employees may know someone they trust. Someone who needs a job. This is the best way to get to know a prospective domestic employee.

Recommended Route of Action: Interview, Basic Information, Verify References

In all cases, before hiring anybody, GET TO KNOW THEM. Schedule an interview. Conduct it in a friendly manner. Treat domestic employees as family members. Be tactful, diplomatic when you ask these questions: date and place of birth, home address, telephone (if available) and names of his/her closest relatives who you could notify in case of emergency. Also, insist that –if possible- your prospective employee provide letters of recommendation that cover at least 5-7 years of prior work experience. Not all of them have these. Make sure that you call or write to the previous employers and confirm these references. Obtain suggestions on how to establish a good rapport with the employee. Domestic employees become an important balance for your peace of mind, emotional stability and family happiness. They can also create the opposite effect. Your direct involvement in this process is crucial. The more you know about his/her background, the better. Tell them what you like, dislike and your policy on visitors. In your absence, they need input from you on how to react and or assist your children in case of an emergency. Show them how to answer telephone calls. Be your own judge if this the first time that they have worked. Decide – based on your own instincts- if he or she merits that chance. Always pay them a little more than the norm. Disclose to your employees –sincerely- that you do appreciate having them around. For 32 years I’ve provided Seminars to Domestic Employees and Drivers on basic residential security rules. These are available to you by contacting me.  

Rapport with the Community 
Your neighbors will normally identify you as a foreigner –or a resident they welcome or accept, if you already live here- by the way you look, talk or act. Becoming a messenger of good faith is your goal. Having a positive, solid contact with your neighbors will ensure you obtain new friends. Also they will prove important in case of an emergency. Get to know your street grocery store owner, laundry manager, local market vendors, building attendant, even the postman and garbage collector. All of the above people represent possible sources of help should you ever need it. Mexicans are friendly and supportive to most expatriates. We can also be friendly to each other. Having problems of understanding with a neighbor may lead to serious complications to your daily chores.  


On Occasion of Mother's  Day 2009..


This article is dedicated to two exemplary mothers,


LIc.-Jhovaneé-Monge-de-Rott por Jhovaneé Monge

Lic. Jhovanee Monge de Rottigni, CEO & Editor at 

The Posh Magazine at Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Los Cabos

 and Sra. Soledad Romàn Lucas, my mummie, better known as Chole. Hopefully, what we will share with Insidemex readers will explain why Mothers' Day this year was SO special to us. Also, that this experience prevents you from incurring in mistakes that can be avoided..

This topic is supplementary to above article: RESIDENTIAL SECURITY

BASIC Recommendations Before you Hire Domestic Employees

Parents must be responsible for this important task: the screening, selection of your your domestic employees. May I remind you that school teachers, the policeman around the corner nor your building attendant or security guard in your neighborhood are charged with the obligation to inculcate in our children good habits that begin at home such as the Culture of Prevention and Safe Travel.

This learning process begins at an early age, at home. Drug addiction, crime, lies are problems that can be easily detected and prevented if we only assume our role as responsible parents. The concept of family values in a country like Mexico does work, unlike in so-called First World countries where men and women become independent from their parents at an early age. If we at home are used to lying, being hypocritical these problems sooner or later will be reflected in those we love the most: our children. By then, it will be too late.

The ideal situation is that parents jointly work together with all family membres to resolve problems. However this is not always possible. Single parents -both men and women- are no exception. Some of us may have the custody of our children or by choice raise them on our own and not necessarily as a couple. We rely in our domestic employees to look after the most precious creatures we have in life when we must go to work. Many times, we hardly know this people. It is common in corporations that maids will come from a specialized agency..

Stop for a moment. Is this your case? The time to rethink what you've done may prompt you to reconsider things and value the contents of this article. Ignoring a latent situation that affects your family may bring -with time- problems that can seriously affect your life. May the Lord forbid that you brought home criminals. Who knows, kidnappers, maybe? Let's not get paranoid and understand that acting on good faith and utilizing common sense rules lots of problems can be prevented.

What we are about to recommend is actually quite simple. If you are a new arrival in Mexico -or a citizen of this country- want you to know that most people in your office, school environment, acquaintances are respectable members of the Community. If through these contacts you get a driver, maid, cook, INVARIABLY ask for personal references in writing. If your work colleague or his/her maid is doing this, that is, recommend someone, they will be happy to provide the information you require.

Best way to connect with prospective domestic employees is through those working for your friends. It is common that maids will recommend maids when they trust someone who they believe will do a good job. Recommending someone requires a letter of reference. We live very difficult times with the current recession. Make sure you select someone DESERVING of the vacant position in your own home. Except that there are some rules to engage in this selection process .. responsibly.

Please take a look at the contents of this useful link


I do not trust ANY private security company to do this for you. In the case of domestic personnel we ought to trust our own instincts. As parents we want the best for our family, children.

Before offering a job, GET TO KNOW the applicant/s. Arrange for a personal interview. Conduct it yourself, face to face. Be kind, but firm. Always treat domestic employees as members of your own family. As a matter of fact, they are. No matter how humble their origin, or scarce their formal education is. They are people you should have LOTS of respect for. They will do what it takes to be of service and to protect .. you. Loyalty between maids and their employers must be reciprocal. Otherwise, it can have serious consequences. The relationship you have with these employees will be equal to peace of mind or the .. opposite. Be tactful, diplomatic, when you ask questions. You must ask a minimum of FIVE questions. Add as many as you like. Be prepared to explain why you need to ask for this information:


1. Date, place of birth. 2. Home address, phone no. (if existent). 3. Complete names -paternal and maternal last names included- of his/her parents and or closest relatives who you need to notify in case of an emergency. Briefly request a "clinical history", verbally. Learn about your future employee's health, ask about diseases, surgeries, etc. Ask if they've ever been fired or left work because they wera about to be separated. 4. Take a photograph or ask her to provide you one. If he/she has a spouse, lives in an out out of wedlock relationship, ask what you can about this. 5. Always ask for "¿tiene cartas de referencia?" Review, study his/her reference letters, obtain pertinent supplementary information, to your complete satisfaction.

INSIST always that your prospective employee provide recommendation letters, at least three. These are your references. Must cover a period of not less than the last 5-7 years. Make sure you get dates (at least approximate, do not leave any gaps) of his/her previous employers. Maids not always have these, especially if they have recently arrived to the city, town from their villages. If you do not have these documents, it is ok. During the interview take note of the information your prospective employee will provide verbally. Start with today's date and go back until you cover the desired period of time as indicated, depending on the age of the applicant. Take note of dates, names of previous employers, why their employment came to an end, their occupations, addresses, phone numbers and if satisfied with the interview CONFIRM THESE REFERENCES.. yourself. Tell the applicant you will do this and whether he'd object to it. If your company security chief has contacts with the police ask for name checks. Also, obtain any means of identification possible and keep copies for yourself.

So far, you've covered the first part of this simple, uncomplicated process.


When you call or meet the references, try to obtain recommendations how to best communicate with your employee. Talk about her/his virtues, weaknesses. Your maid, messenger, driver, cook, will make a world of difference in your emotional health and happiness at home. As you'll see below, circumstances ma lead these employees to take advantage of circumstances and create precisely the opposite effect. That is, become a serious headache. Let's take the case of an angry security guard who you fire from work - he can be a real nightmare to you and your family. He knows YOUR home, children, environment, weaknessess.

The more you get directly involved in this process, the better. The more you know the employee before the hiring actually takes place will allow you to have confidence in the next step. Tell them what you like, dislike. They also tell you the same. Also explain your policies -which must be strict- about visits at home. You may forbid him/her from having any visits unless these are previously arranged, screened, in your absence. We are not talking about the garbage man, mail, water and other regular services at home. Rather, visits not expected. Your maid will be 24/7 vigilant to assure your protection, in addition to the services you expect. In your absence, they will take YOUR ROLE. Only you can provide the best possible training on how to best react to the unexpected, especially in case of an emergency. More so if your children are involved. Please consider paying servants more than the norm. Saving pennies in this case is not recommendable. Encourage them, recognize their work for simply "nothing to report" results. Teach them how to answer the telephone. Pick up the phone and say BUENO, never to give out names, intimate information. Become your own judge if you are hiring your first maid. Do not be tyrannical. This may be counter productive. Also a bad example to your children. Decide – based in your own instintcs - if there is something fishy or out of place, questionable and take your own decision. The personal relationship with your maids must be impeccable. Always show them –sincerely- that you appreciate, value their presence.

For more than 36 years -up to 2009- I've provided training Security Seminars to both domestic employees, drivers and their employers covering basic rules of protection. Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


In the link you were provided above, courtesy by Solutions Abroad at

you'll get what the legal experts can tell you about provisions before you hire a maid.

What comes next is my own experience. I am sure this extreme case will not occur in your own home. However, the entire process is something we all can learn from. My elderly mother was sued in court by a maid who "never was" ..

Background: A Sad Accident

In the early stages of 2008 Chole, my mummie was happy to have turned 86. At this point in her life she endures the consequences of a failing & painful back problem, a deteriorating case of Alzheimer's, high blood pressure and other ailments normal for a woman her age.

In these circumstances a sad incident occurred at her home which we hope will teach us a lesson. One day, while I was meeting with Aran Shetterly, owner of The English Speaker's Guide to Living in Mexico in his office, Chole was at home meeting a prospective maid referred to her by a relative. Because of the recommendations as outlined above, she appeared not to fear anything. On the contrary. She wanted to wait until I'd return home to make a decision whether to hire her or not. My mother never spoke to her about income, obligations, schedule.. As they waited for me, the prospective new "maid" -whose name is not been identified for legal reasons, asked permission from Chole to wash dirty clothes she had brought from her own home. I am talking about the "maid"s clothes. My mother, whose niece had recommended her did not object to such a request, though an odd one, given the circumstances she was there to ask for a job. Chole in the meantime, invited this woman to become familiar with the house while she took a shower as she waited for me. Upon the conclusion of my meeting with Aran, I'd conduct the work interview and make sure the applicant met our rules.

An Amputated Finger

While Chole was in the shower the "maid" went to the roof of a one-story building within our house where the servants' quarters are located. While carrying her own wet clothes she slipped and went down the inclined, steep stairs. She noisily felt to the ground with such a bad luck that in her trajectory one finger got stuck in one of the metallic steps. This broke the bone and provoked its.. amputation. The house was built in the 1930s. This is the first time ever anybody had had such an awkward accident. Chole goes up and down almost daily without problems, to date. When the "maid" landed on the ground the impact provoked a very loud noice. My mother was coming out of the shower. She AND THE NEIGHBORS -who came to her help- took this poor woman to a closeby hospital, while bleeding and semi-unconscious. Around the corner from our house is a private hospital that specializes in orthepedics and traumas. When I was contacted by Jorge Redondo, my next door-neighbor, in Aran's office the "maid" had been accepted in the emergency room, for treatment.

Neighbors rang me again describing a situation that required my presence. Flew out of Aran's office and grabbed a taxi cab. When I walked into her house, my mummie was in a state of shock. Chole had forgotten to call me. She had a cell phone in her hands that she never used. She was in the toilet, throwing up. Was confused, could not explain what had happened. She was pale, incoherent. By the time I made it to the hospital the duty doctor explained that his patient had been stabilized and she was ready to go home. My mother paid the bill which included X rays, drugs, emergency room treatment, lab, etc.

The Red Cross Hospital

Both the duty doctor at the emergency unit and myself thought it'd be best to move her to a public health center as most likely she'd need continued medical supervision. She did not have social security nor any other governmental benefit. Picked her up in my own car from the emergency entrance and took her to the Red Cross in Polanco. Brought from my place warm blankets, water and as I drove she appeared to appreciate what was being done for her. "My mistake" she kept on saying. Took the wrong step, "I am terribly sorry for .. Chole". Was there to look after her. I guess God is punishing me, etc. Kept on telling her to calm down. By the time I made it to the hospital, the doctors on duty at the Red Cross would not accept her. The excuse was that they had no plastic surgeon. I had to beg for their sympathy, insisting on her human rights. At times she was in pain and showed it. Seemed my pleas worked when we argued and all of the sudden they asked for a relative to sign paperwork, after I idnetified myself as a columnist. She was very weak. Appeared to me she had lost lots of blood. Later in the evening her daughter and husband showed up assuming their responsibility for her medical attention. However, until she was released, about a week later, kept on visiting the Red Cross Hospital to make sure there were no complications.

This was a completely unexpected problem involving someone who was never employed in our household. However, due to circumstances we did what common sense dictated, for solidarity to this woman. When I came home after the "maid" was released from the hospital asked my mother to TREASURE the bills she had paid for. I had asked that these be issued under her name. Seemed as if I knew what would come next.

Labor Suit

Later on I learned that the District Attorney at the Red Hospital counselled the "maid" of her rights and suggested her to file a suit at the Secretarìa del Trabajo del D. F.

In Mexico City's Department of Labor there is a section (ironically) called Fomento al Empleo - Promoting Work- and in this section forms are available to anybody that comes around to complain. These are normally filled by hand. This is the form that was used by this woman to sue my mother. On quote, the forms contain a legend that reads "In compliance to chapter VII (Conciliatory procedure) and in accordance to artìcles that include in numerical order from 28 to 35 the law for the Right to Defend Work in Mexico City hereby this testimony is provided" with the purpose of accusing Sra. Soledad Roman by the domestic employee as indicated in the form, showing my mother's home address.. then a date for appearance at the Secretariat of Labor to settle the dispute.

As soon as I could prepared written testimony addressed to the authorities involved prividing our side of the story as previously detailed. Further, informing them that ALL acusations were based in false testimony. The "maid" alleged she had the right to a salary equal to about the triple of what normally maids get for the work she described. One of the allegations was that the "maid" had lost her job in a 5- star hotel in order to accept the position offered by Chole, my mother. In other words, she argued that she had had to resign to a well-paid job in order to become available at my mother's home, claiming my mother's niece said her services were required urgently. She gave out the name of the hotel, located south of the city, next to Parque Hundido. Obviously, a lie that made no sense. She demanded income she was "entititled to receive" starting on the date of the accident, PLUS vacation bonus, reimbursement for private medical attention of the past and the future until the day she was to "return" to my mother's house to comply with her "domestic employee" duties.

Most importantly, she demanded indemnity payment for the amputated finger, which involved a significant amount of money, etc., etc.

All my neighbors - a total of 7, acting as witnesses- provided written testimony to the authorities. These documents were basically .. ignored. I presented them to the attorney in charge of the "Conciliatrory process", to no avail. The "conciliatory" part the law makes reference to means to basically ACCEPT all accusations as the employee points these out or else, proceed to trial. The self-called "maid" appeared to be a completely different person. She was by far not the same woman who admitted her own fault for the wrong step. I tried to remind her how grateful she was when I drove her to the hospital, to no avail.

Human Rights Commission Stand

Fearing the worse, I proceeded to the Mexico City Human Rights Commission where I was told that the domestic employee had the same right as my mother to counter sue, should I file a complaint on her behalf. The fact Chole is a senior citizen, ill, impeded to defend herself in court due to senility was of no .. help. Every time I came home to explain to mother what was happening she'd become emotional. Twice I had to take her to the hospital. Her blood pressure was raising every time. We feared a heart attack or a seizure.


Felt like a sailor in high seas, on a vessel in the center of a storm, with no control over it. Impotence reigned as I learned of LOTS of other cases.

You Liar .. LIAR!!!

When I went to the Secretariat of Labor the hallways were filled with employers screaming at their domestic employees and viceversa. What I could observe was not plesant. They would curse at each other, finger-pointing and the screams of "you liar, LIAR" could be heard from distance. As time progressed I learned that this is a Modus Vivendi for many people. Mexico City Government attorneys assigned to the Secretariat of Labor at no cost offer their services to domestic employees to defend them -abogados de oficio- from their "tyrannical" employers.

The Know How

Maids are looked at by these attorneys as the "desamparadas" -the weak, unprotected servants- and as I tried to resolve my own case learned how these cases work. Normally, the so called "conciliatory" agreement by both parties is NEVER reached as long as the threat to go to trial exists. The law was made to supposedly defend the right of the less favored in society to secure a job they feel got separated from unfairly, I learned. Lawyers tell the dismissed worker or domestic employee that should they win the case they will get -maybe- half the amount of money. In practical terms in the end the "weak" gets the LEAST from the "powerful" while in the process both work jointly to extract the most possible from employers in these circumstances. It's a scheme. This whole idea is incredible in times of recession when jobs are ..scarce.

The secretive agrement between attorneys and maids includes an estimate by the first on how much it is possible to extract from their victims on information provided by the latter considering that should a case go to trial the "weak" will always win since the law was created to "protect" them. In my own case, whatever my mother's maid would get -even a portion- would be better than nothing.

Two Specific Cases

Case One -

A dentist, whose office is around the corner from my mother's house was very helpful in this process. He is also a great doctor. If you write to me I highly recommend him. He claimed to have been taken to court more than half a dozen times to the same Secretariat of Labor. His own lesson is that many job seekers came to work for him with the intent of seeking every opportunity to get them .. fired. Any excuse is good: absenteeism for illness, tardiness, negligence in thehandling of dental equipment, any pretext is a VALID point to sue the employer. What works in their benefit is an impressive scheme where unless you pay for the services of a qualified (and expensive) lawyer, there is no one to assist you or even pay attention. This is a situation that hampers the willingness of entrepreneurs to assist in the current joblessness situation Mexico and the world faces. Once you enter in this process, there is no way to stop it, unless you negotiate a payment to get out of it, even though the case was built on false information. It's a NO WIN situation. These laws convert employers in victims of the system. Even authorities agree -in private- in this approach. It is important that we all comprehend this. Spent almost one whole year involved in bitter arguments, unsuccessful attempts to reach a reasonable agreement, found the whole thing to be a waste of time and in passing, felt aggravated, got insulted, etc.

The "maid"' -the one who never was- was clear. "NO HAY TRATO" - no agreement. We'll go to trial. She had a darn good legal counsel. I had none.

Case 2 -

A friend of mine from Scotland has been in Mexico for the last two years. His area of expertise is in finances. In such brief time he's had ample experiece in labor law.. suits. "We are no longer hiring local staff. It is not possible to afford a situation like, hiring strangers. Due to the nature of our organzation, he said, LOYALTY is a must in our company. We are bringing more and more expatriates. Because they value the opportunity of living abroad,learning a new language. they won't expose our company and get us in trouble in a country we came to work as guests. Have too much work to concentrate on tobe concerned about running our own Legal Department with problems that we do not need. Especially since we have to get our own work permits as FOREIGNERS.. Then he adds, "not sure how the Government of Mexico assures us that they invite & urge us to invest here, want us to open new jobs when injustices occur daily at the Secretaria del Trabajo when we get sued". You should know that currently the Mexican Chamber of Deputies has an initiative with yet new proposals such as if someone comes to your home just to wash your car, wash your clothing, etc. the employer must provide -and pay for- social security benefits, other bonus enefits which the employer will be obliged to provide or risk being sued. You and I agree that the less favored need to be helped but these rules of protection make it very hard to offer.. new jobs as the tourism industry as consequence of the Swine Flue has brought historical levels of unemployment. On top of this, politicians trying to gain popularity make free enterprise more difficult than ever before, by these actions where one feels completely isolated.

An Angel that Came from Heaven - in this Nightmare.

Lic. Juan Jorge Dzib Sotelo, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with many years' experience in law -Administrative, Labor, Criminal, Immigration, Corporate, Cel. 04455-3398-9484, came to me via the same neighhbors -Jorge Redondo,my next-door neighbor is his cousin, one of the signatories in the statement we took to court - came to our resscue. He is known for not charging his clients for their first consultation session. As a matter of fact, once he met Chole, got deeply involved in the case, almost 11 months after it started. With his invaluable help , we did come to a negotiated settlement. Jorge did not charge one cent for his services. The "aggravated party" took from my mother $ 30,000 pesos .. and they walked out :) happy. Of course. Why not. People knowledgeable of these lawsuits believe we could have lost much more had we not been lucky to come across Jorge.


The lesson I learned is that life is short. I only have one mother in this world. Her physical and emotional health as she is fast approaching 90 is more is more important to me than anything else. Feel fortunate enough to have my Chole. Mother's Day THIS YEAR was quite special for us. With the neighbolrs and close friends she enjoyed live music, a display of paints, tamales, fruit juices, a BDay cake as we sang the Mañanitas for her at Jardin de la Tercera Edad in Chapultepec park, courtesy by the Mexico City Government's Environment Secretariat. My respects to Martha Delgado, who is the person behind this important organization attending to the needs of senior citizens.

Hope you will conclude too that what a Security Seminar will pay dearly by reducing the chances of experiencing something as horrible at home as described above.

By Mario Gonzàlez-Romàn
President, Security Corner in Mexico.

ABOUT Security Corner: Legal Notice is found in Featured Articles page. This monthly column is the result of intensive research by Mr. Mario González-Román to serve as support to the International Community. We do not pursue commercial or political interests. If a product or service is mentioned it is because we believe it is in your own benefit. In some cases, per our request, official information was received from the Mexican Government. Contributions include those coming from non-profit private organizations and individuals volunteering to the usefulness of the objective of each article. In others, information was acquired by navigating in the Internet, by personal interviews or other channels. In each case, credit is given to information sources. While this information is for public use, it would be appreciated that when you reproduce or share its contents, that you include the name of its author and a link to Security Corner. All suggestions are welcome. If we made a mistake, we’ll be happy to correct it. English is not my native language. Readers have been extremely useful in the past: Welcome to edit articles. THIS IS TRULY A JOINT COLLABORATIVE EFFORT. Thanks to your input, messages we are able to determine what topics interest our audience the most.Mr. González-Román is a retired FSN employee from the Embassy of the United States of America, where he worked per prior consent by Mexican Congress as evidenced in Federal Official Diary no. 16, dated September 23, 1981. Please become familiar with his Biography.

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