Did they kidnap the reconstruction?

10 months after the earthquake, survivors haven't received any help from the local government

Did they kidnap the reconstruction?
Collapsed building after the September 2017 earthquake – Photo: Ulises Ruiz Basurto/EFE
English 10/07/2018 09:18 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 10:53

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Loosing the home you acquired after a lifetime of effort, due to a natural disaster, is a bitter experience for any person or family; but they are aware that the total or partial reparation of the damages is stuck between political interests and groups insensitive towards the demands of the community, and it all leads to a feeling of helplessness against the government.

Hundreds of families in the Mexican capital are in this exact situation. They are still unsure of how the government is going to help them, as they're still living in tents or crammed into their family and friends' homes, almost 10 months after the September 2017 earthquake.

The rebuilding of their homes has turned into a power game between political parties because it involves millions of pesos; the survivors are stuck in the middle, with their demands and their urgency for the reconstruction to speed up.

The most recent obstacle for the channeling of the resources to build homes for those who lost their state last September is inside Mexico City's Legislative Assembly. Last month, the head of Mexico City's government submitted a draft to reform the Expenditure Budget in order to reassign almost MXN $700 millions for the Public Trust for the Reconstruction. Nevertheless, it needs the “will of the parliamentary groups” to call for an extraordinary session.

The Assembly's answer is not an optimistic one. The PAN argues that the conditions are not met because of a lack of quorum; many legislators are already invested in other activities and the PRD says that it is on an “analysis path” with the parliamentary groups.

The current administration has promised to lead the reconstruction efforts before it ends, but with the lack of agreements, it wouldn't be surprising if they don't even take the first steps.

In the midst of the lack of agreements between public officers and legislators, the survivor's voices are barely heard or understood. To be taken into account, they have to block highways, as they have in recent days; that's the only way to be heard or seen. The authorities have practically lost the opportunity to be transparent in a process that implies a direct benefit for the families, and that could have characterized incoming processes. It's time to free the resources.