After we had driven round the area we went back to the TH and I introduced him to Luiz Garcia, our Mayor. I was really pleased to see that Luiz listened to what Jose Maria had to say and it appeared he accepted that he could be of value to us in our negotiations sufficiently to invite Jose Maria to sit in on our next discussions.
What particularly pleased me was that both Luis and Luiz listened to him. It would have been easy for Luis (being the TH's own Technico) to ignore his advice, and it would equally have been easy for Luiz to do the same. It gave me heart and reinforced my belief that they really are trying every avenue to resolve our issues.