In May, members of your ANA Board met with Mayor Davalos to review the almost two-year history of our reports and requests for help with the undermined Los Pinos pavement.  We presented him with an entire file of photos, documents and Proteccion Civil dictamins of risk to the street.

In June, ANA hired local Civil Engineer Antonio Mercurio to analyze the Los Pinos erosion/landslide and prepare a report of observations, conclusions, assessment of risks and hazards, and recommendations.  He reported imminent danger, recommended restricted parking and constructing a retaining wall.

In July, ANA  submitted Ing. Mercurio’s report, which adds weight and urgency to the Proteccion Civil Dictamens of Risk already on file with City Hall.  When the Director of Obras Publicas dismissed Ing. Mercurio’s findings, we sent an official letter to Mayor Davalos, with copies to the relevant City Departments – Obras Publicas, Planning, Proteccion Civil, and Transito – requesting a written response to the report of our Civil Engineer.

Last week we sent a follow-up request.  You can find both the English and Spanish versions here  at the ANA website, www.amapaspv.com/wp/.

Your ANA is researching other ways to get City Hall attention and action, and reaching out to the local Spanish-language media to bring public awareness and opinion to bear on the Los Pinos problem.

We welcome your suggestions.  In the meantime, we’ll keep pushing for official recognition that a significant public safety danger exists and deserves immediate City Hall attention and action.



Phase One of an all-weather sidewalk along the west side of Highway 200, from Conchas Chinas, north to Calle Pulpito, will soon begin construction.

Thanks to Diane & Glenn Walsh, Harris Spiridonides, Richard Lohman, Louise Martin, and other members & friends in Paramount Bay, ANA has the 100,000 pesos necessary to complete Phase One – from Villa Tita to the Macuaz driveway, opposite and north of Paramount Bay.  As soon as we receive permission for an off-road staging area, we’ll get to work.



Between rains, ANA Assistant Manager Fernando Hernandez organized and oversaw our crew as they widened the pavement with a new, meter-wide grooved track at the 90 degree turn, just before Villas Loma Linda.  As a result, two cars can now pass without trading paint or risking side-view mirrors.

ANA thanks our many Individual and Full Building Members who contributed the funds necessary to put this plan into action.  It shows what neighbors can accomplish working together.

LOS PINOS UPDATE: August 25, 2017

Last month, ANA sent an official letter to Mayor Davalos, with copies to the relevant City Departments – Obras Publicas, Planning, Proteccion Civil, and Transito – requesting a written statement of City Hall’s response to the report of our Civil Engineer, declaring imminent danger of collapse where erosion has significantly undermined the Los Pinos pavement.

We want City Hall to go on record and take public responsibility:
Is there a danger to property and access…or not?

Obviously, once danger is officially recognized, some action must be taken.

Below is a translation of our second letter, which we sent last week.

Your ANA is reaching out to members of the local Spanish-language media to bring public awareness and opinion to bear on the problem.

We welcome your suggestions.  In the meantime, we’ll keep pushing for official recognition that a significant public safety danger exists and deserves immediate City Hall attention and action.


Ing. Arturo DávalosPeña

Dear Mayor, without leaving aside a cordial greeting, and representing the Amapas Neighborhood Association and the Amapas Junta Vecinal, I am writing to you once again, on behalf of the worry and concern of the neighbors regarding the undermined pavement located at  Sierra de Los Pinos Verdes street in Colonia Amapas.
As you well know, this street has been threatened for more than two years, because of the erosion of the hill immediately adjacent to the street, and the lack of maintenance on the private property, that because of its topography would require a retaining wall.  During that time,  the Amapas Neighborhood Association has called attention to the City through various documents, to the relevant departments regarding the property: lot 8 of block 519 of Colonia Amapas, with property code 102195.
At least 2 meters of pavement, in plain view, has already been undermined.  And, and in these rainy season days, more erosion of non-consolidated material has been observed.  In addition, in spite of no-parking signs, vehicles are constantly parked in the affected part, threatening the weak support that has so far prevented the undermined pavement from collapsing.
You know that this street is the only access to several condominiums, including La Cima III, Horizon and Terrazas del Mar, as well as other housing units that depend on this street.
It’s easy to see the damage in the street (from below), and the neighbors are very worried, so we requested an answer in writing:
What will be done to prevent the damage from growing?
Is it possible to have constant supervision by the sub-direction of Transito to prevent the cars from continuing to park in the affected area?
And most importantly, a statement that, according to your experience and the Director of Obras Publicas, the street and surrounding buildings are not at imminent risk, so we should expect the private property owner to take action whenever he decides?
A topographical study and a soil mechanics study would be very necessary to determine additional factors and soil conditions.  Is it possible for you to carry out such studies?
Engineer Dávalos, you know that the Amapas Neighborhood Association is a proactive and participatory Association that responds to the urban problems of the colonia.  We cannot ignore the fear of the neighbors and the continuing danger.  We have requested an answer in writing by means of an official notice regarding the position of the municipality regarding the state of the road, clearly indicating, if determined by the Public Works Department or the City Department that is deemed pertinent, that the street is not in danger of collapse due to the landslide, in order to have an official document that reassures our neighbors about the non-existence of risk because of some failure in road stability caused by the hillside condition of the lot in question.

LOS PINOS PROGRESS REPORT Thursday, July 6, 2017

dictamen meIn our May Update, we reported on our meeting with Mayor Davalos, our top priority being City action on the undermining of Los Pinos pavement.

In June, we interviewed Civil Engineer Antonio Mercurio, of Construcciones Mercurio, and hired him to perform an independent assessment of the Los Pinos slide and pavement.

Among Ing. Mercurio’s observations, conclusions and recommendations:

  • The unsupported pavement is subject to catastrophic failure.


  • The rocky material in the hillside is a glassy sand and clay material that rain water can essentially reduce to mud.


  • There is high risk of hillside failure, resulting in loss of access to more than 100 homes, including Horizon, La Cima III and Terrazas Del Mar.


  • There is high risk of damage to adjacent buildings.


  • Without preventative intervention, further failure of the hillside (and the road) is imminent, though it’s hard to predict exactly when.


  • Ing. Mercurio recommends prohibiting vehicles driving (or parking) over the undermined pavement; immediate closure of Los Pinos to trucks and other heavy vehicles; and reducing traffic to a single lane near the undermined pavement.


  • He further recommends the construction of a large reinforced concrete retention wall to prevent further erosion and to stabilize the street.

An English language version of Ing. Mercurio’s report is included below, and we’ll be posting his report in its original Spanish on the ANA website.

ANA is forwarding Ing. Mercurio’s report to Mayor Davalos, with copies to Obras Publicas, Proteccion Civil, Planning and Transito.  We will be following up with them and urgently requesting that the recommended actions be taken immediately.  We’ll further update you when we have more news.


The undersigned Specialist Engineer in Structural Calculation, Antonio Mercurio, born in Naples (Italy) on May 29, 1968, as owner of COSTRUCCIONES MERCURIO, has carried out projects in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara  with a 25 year experience, and who, together with Engineer Egidio Mercurio, on behalf of the Association of Neighbors of Colonia Amapas AC carried out a review and diagnosis of the land located in Paseo de Los Verdes Pinos, next to condominium Los Pinos, in relation to a landslide, of which the following observations are made:


Regarding our visit to the site in the middle of June 2017, and observing an unstable condition of the underlying front of the sidewalk, with partial slip off the shoulder of the street, we observed a section of the street referred to as Los Pinos without support approximately 5 meters by 3meters, the result of an erosion in the supporting hillside.

This condition, which continues to be generated progressively due to the adjacent properties of the street, the constant passage of heavy vehicles and the total absence of functional containment and the lack of a rain gutter, has caused visible damage and failure on the slope.

The rocky material existing in the hillside, which is exposed and identified as glassy sand and clay, when in contact with rainfall is transformed into mud, which has as characteristics clay earth, glassy with total absence of rocks.


These conditions have created a situation of high risk of structural failure of the street, and possible damage in the adjacent residential buildings.

The road in the current state with the lack of support due to the marked defect in the hillside, can collapse, this being possibly catastrophic, by the weight and the vibration resulting from vehicular traffic, in addition to other factors like rain that accelerate the process of sliding of earth.

Without preventive action, the collapse of the slope is imminent. However, it cannot be determined precisely when that collapse could occur, considering that there are other factors that affect the possible damage such as an earthquake, a storm or even a vein of groundwater.


High risk for the building adjacent to the affected area, in which its structural support can be compromised, in addition to the existence of pools in the area, damage can trigger hundreds of liters of water, on the ground and affected, causing major damage.

– High risk of losing the only vehicular access route, unique access to more than 100 houses and condominiums among which we can mention Horizon, La Cima III and Terrazas del Mar, to name a few.

– The safety coefficients are very low, and stability depends on existing vegetation, which is not strong, due to the absence of big trees, allowing movement of the surface of the slope;

– In case of a seismic movement, the safety coefficients would be reduced even more.


Reasons why consolidation operations are suggested:

– Immediately prohibiting vehicular traffic on the affected (undermined) area. Creating a single line of traffic on that segment of the road.

– Prohibiting the passage of heavy vehicles on the street, including all trucks, especially restricting the passage of more than 3 tons.

-Construction of a retaining wall with reinforced concrete to prevent future erosion, and provide stability and support for the slope that is at risk. Reinforced concrete wall of approx. 40 cm of 60 meters of length with pilasters of maximum height of 12 meters with footings of 2×2. The wall would surround the lot, and from wall to wall are connected through load, all filled and compacted with bench ground. All the size of the reinforcements and the dimensions of the pilasters and walls would be determined with precision after having performed a study of mechanics of soil and resulting structural calculations.

– In my experience, other retention structures such as terraced stone, or stone wall, do not provide the necessary lateral support in this situation, so are not recommended in this case.

– In the case of street collapse caused by slipping of the material in the hillside, the cost of repair and intervention is estimated to be 3 to 4 times greater than the cost of the recommended works for supporting the street and containing the slide, in addition to the great inconvenience of the impossibility of access to the homes served by this street.




– Execution of the work in reinforced concrete, as a preventive as explained, allowing access to homes served by road.


VEA Report #2

Reporting Crime and Police Response Procedures
As part of ANA’s Collaboration on Crime Prevention

 VEA is Vallarta’s new neighborhood-based crime prevention program – sort of a ‘Neighborhood Watch’ on steroids, providing instant reporting via Whatsapp, VEA is an acronym for Vecinos En Alerta – ‘Neighbors on the Lookout’ – and Amapas has been invited to participate.

In a recent example of VEA’s ability to summon immediate police response, last month ANA Board Member for Security Gene Mendoza used the Whasapp group to trigger a life-saving rapid response from authorities. It’s already working.

(This is the second in a series, drawing on ANA-Sponsored neighborhood/police meetings.  You can find the first article on the ANA Website here.)

I called the police, now what?

After reporting a crime via Whatsapp, dialing 911 (or 089 for anonymous reporting), members of our neighborhood have asked what to expect.

The first response to reported crime or crime in progress is taken by the municipal police who will arrive and take action to stabilize the situation and coordinate care for any injured parties. With that accomplished, the police will make a report of what transpired including an initial report of any property losses.

Be sure to get a copy of the police report number for further reference, and email it to ANA Administrator Viviana Teston — admin@amapaspv.com –  for follow up.

The municipal police serve primarily as Preventive Police (Policía Preventiva) and do not investigate crime, but collect and catalogue crime information to identify emerging patterns or trends that might aid in future crime prevention.  They pass their report up the chain of command for more complete investigation.

Investigation of the Crime by Agents of the District Attorney

No later than two to three days after the initial crime report is taken by the municipal police, victims should expect to be contacted by the investigative Ministerial Police who perform the preliminary investigation. These officers, from the District Attorney’s Office (Fiscalía), will collect and catalogue the crime information for the purpose of apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators.

The formal preparation of victims’ statements is very important to the Mexican legal system, but the District Attorney stated in the February 16th VEA meeting that victims should not be required to visit the District Attorney’s Office to sign the formal translation of their statements.

Victims of property crime, including theft and burglary, should expect to be asked to demonstrate their ownership of the stolen property through sales receipts, model and serial number information, or the statement of a witness (friend or neighbor) vouching for the presence of the property before the crime.

Most cases of petty property crime will not require the use of Expert Services Unit more commonly referred to on TV as the crime scene investigators or CSI. However, in serious crimes, these services may be employed to take finger prints and other forensic evidence.

So, if you’re the victim of a crime, the arrival of the Municipal Police is just the beginning, not the end, of your involvement.  If the Investigative Police don’t show up after two or three days, you should get in touch with the Fiscalía – see, we told you that police report number would come in handy – and follow up.

As the DA explained in our second meeting, every police force at every level has limited resources to pursue criminal cases, so they prioritize – the worst crimes, and crimes most likely to be solved, understandably get the most attention.

If your case is relatively minor, or unlikely to be solved (lack of witnesses, lack of evidence, etc.), it may not get the attention you think it deserves.  If that’s the situation, it’s up to you to push the DA’s office for more follow-up.

You can also contact Tourism’s Legal Attention to Visitors Office, offering free legal assistance to tourists and resident expats.  Their office in Cardenas Park is open Monday-Friday, 8 to 4.  There’s also a desk in the Tourism office in the downtown City Hall, Monday-Friday, 8-8.  English is spoken, and they offer help with translation.  The office phone is 322-222-2224.  Initial complaints can be made by email, preferably with details and photos included.  The office email is atencionaturistas@turismopuertovallarta.com