Citizens & the lessons from the earthquake

Society will define the course of Mexico the long-term; not the current political forces seeking visibility

Volunteers - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 03/10/2017 09:00 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 09:04
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It's been two weeks since the 7.1 earthquake which devastated several states of Mexico, and we still have many lessons to learn from the event, which need to be reflected upon and absorbed to be fully integrated into our conscience, into our shared history. The role of civil society, the reaction of key government agencies, the political and institutional impact, as well as the future of our country are some of the elements we have to go over again to truly understand what has happened and what will happen.

Before September 19, the main concern of the Mexican people was the flagrant corruption which rules all the levels of the political system. The accusation is still alive and has even gained force from the public demand that political parties donate their resources to the disaster areas. Political parties have taken advantage of the situation to address the request, demagogically.

This public outcry against corruption has clearly exposed the presence of this phenomenon in public institutions. The CEO and Chairman of the Board of EL UNIVERSAL, Mr. Juan Francisco Ealy Ortíz, highlighted this issue just yesterday during the 101st-anniversary celebration of this newspaper: earthquakes have “uncovered the corruption prevailing in our institutions, which are the ones tasked with protecting our safety and that of our families.”

The response of civil society has, once more, displayed the unity and generosity of the Mexican people, at the same time it exposed the government which was unable to match the people's response. The message of the citizens was clear: social interaction will define in the long-term the course of Mexico; not the current political forces seeking visibility instead of solving our pressing issues.

The General Elections of 2018 are already visible on the horizon, where we will choose a president for our Republic, state governors, a Federal Congress, local presidents, among others. The country has been deeply wounded not only by the recent devastation of natural phenomena, but by everyday corruption enforced by those who in public claim they aim to serve the Mexican people, but in private betray it.

The reconstruction of the disaster areas can also rebuild the institutions where corruption networks have festered, and reinforce the drive of the people who have recovered hope in an outlook we thought grim. Faced with corrupt politics, the people can do it too. Like Mr. Ealy Ortíz said: “Mexico, you're not alone!”


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