Widespread blackouts plague Mérida’s northern communities

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
CFE’s maintenance work in Mérida and a heatwave have coincided with numerous power outages north of town. Photo: Courtesy

One García Ginerés resident has had it with the CFE, which provides Mexico’s electricity, except for when it doesn’t.

As of early this morning, Mark Callum has been out of power since he heard an explosion 36 hours earlier. It’s a record length of time in a neighborhood handed more than its fair share of power failures over the years.

“Ten years living here, worst I ever saw,” said Callum, whose frustration led him to install his own backup power generator.

The convenience store nearby has already thrown out its ice, or what’s left of it, and he’s ready to discard the contents of his freezer.

The number of households without power was not shared, but residents of Temozón, Francisco de Montejo, Campocielo and other subdivisions north of Mérida took to social media to vent their frustration.

The sun begins to rise in García Ginerés, but after more than 36 hours, the lights are still out. Photo: Mark Calllum

The CFE cited the heat and ongoing maintenance work but Callum says the problem is rooted in years of skimping on infrastructure.

“For example, a transformer failed in our street 10 years ago a neighbor told me, so they simply wired everything onto another one, never replaced it,” he said, “and with renovations, new houses, etc., the system is totally overloaded.”

CFE used social media to respond to the problem. The federal energy commission noted that its workers are toiling under the hot sun to restore power and maintain the grid. On Thursday workers in cherry pickers were restoring heat-related malfunctions in Dzityá and San Antonio Xluch.

On Wednesday, several families were surprised by sudden blackouts in neighborhoods such as Los Héroes and Ciudad Caucel.

Yucatán has among the highest electric rates in Mexico and endures some of the hottest temperatures in April.

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