Complaints filed against construction firms of collapsed buildings

The head of the Benito Juárez borough has filed two claims for the collapse of two buildings after earthquake
File photo by César Gómez/EL UNIVERSAL
27/09/2017
11:15
Mexico City
Sandra Hernández & Gerardo Suárez
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The companies Canada Building Systems de México S.A. de C.V. and Dijon S.A.P.I de C.V. used low-quality materials in the building which collapsed during the September 19 earthquake, killing three people, according to several investigations and technical findings requested by the Benito Juuárez borough administration.

“We won't allow them to go unpunished and we will support the victims to have those responsible repair the damage,” claimed the head of the Benito Juárez borough, Christian von Roehrich, who filed a claim yesterday before Mexico City's Office of the General Attorney against the construction companies.

Moreover, he requested to the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing (SEDUVI) to launch an investigation on the alleged liability of the project managers of both projects, claiming that “those responsible for supervising the construction process and the use of quality material are the project managers, and they are also responsible for informing the SEDUVI and the borough whether the projects are complying with the regulation, which in this case didn't happen,”he added.

In the case of Canda Building Systems, the borough found that during the construction of the building in Emiliano Zapata 56, the project was modified without adhering to the construction standards established.

On this regard, the administrative body of the borough filed a criminal complaint before the Public Prosecutor's Office for property damage, perjury, homicide, and liability of the PM's or co-responsible parties.

In the case of Dijon, the investigation uncovered the building located in Bretaña 90 allegedly built with a different land use permit and increased to four levels the construction without the corresponding approval.

Von Roehrich said the aim is for the companies and those liable to compensate the victims, given that in Zapata 56 two people died, while in Bretaña 90 one individual lost their life.

When asked about the possibility of the involvement of public officials, the head of the borough claimed he also ordered an investigation to the Internal Comptroller's Office of Benito Járez to verify if any public official of the borough is also liable.

He added that during the legal process, the borough will provide lawyers for the owners and residents of the buildings in question, so they can file their corresponding lawsuits before the Superior Court of Justice.

Yesterday, EL UNIVERSAL published that both buildings were built in 2016, under the new construction regulation.

Luis Reséndiz, a resident of the building in Zapata 56, said him and the other residents received an email from the company denying the company's liability in the collapse. “Basically they said 'our condolences, but it was an act of nature and not our responsibility,'; that is what our lawyer said at a meeting on Monday,” he explained.

Mr. Reséndiz has requested the borough to provide all the documentation – including permits, drawings, and construction manifesto – to file a lawsuit against the company

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