Disdain for the reconstruction

Eight months have passed since September 19 and the reconstruction process moves slowly and without adequate transparency

Disdain for the reconstruction
Building in Doctores quarter, Mexico City – File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 21/05/2018 08:47 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:47
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The wound of last September 19 earthquake is still open in Mexico City. In the Roma neighborhood, in the area of Villa Coapa, in the housing unit of Tlalpan, and in Xochimilco, to mention some of the most devastated areas, you can still see damaged buildings and meet families living in the streets.

Demolishing and rebuilding isn't an easy task but it sure gets a lot more complicated if authorities fail to consider it a priority. We have the resources but they aren't being used.

According to the information published today by EL UNIVERSAL, the 16 boroughs of Mexico City received in 2018, jointly, MXN$ 5.3 billion which could have been used – if they had so desired – in the performance of tasks to help earthquake victims. Yet out of that money, only 4% – a little over 211 million – was used for such tasks. Four delegations were the only ones which allocated resources to rebuild: Magdalena Contreras, Tláhuac, Tlalpan, and Venustiano Carranza.

According to the reports of the delegations themselves, the money was used for stationary supplies, medications, tires, computers, and rehabilitation of green areas and town halls.

With this information, it's more than clear which are the priorities of authorities.

Resources related to the September 19 earthquake have been surrounded by controversy. In late December 2017, the Government Commission of the Legislative Assembly destined for reconstruction works a fund of almost MXN$ 8 billion to 10 government agencies but the final approval of how to spend the resources fell onto three local deputies. The citizen's committee created to work together with the distribution of these funds was set aside. In protest, the head of said committee and several members resigned. The promise that citizens would be close to authorities to ensure the adequate use of the funds became, in the end, distorted.

In the way authorities make use of their funds it's clear that local Mexico City authorities go against the needs demanded by the population.

Eight months have passed since September 19 and the reconstruction process moves forward slowly and without adequate transparency.

The voices of social organizations and victim groups seemed to have drowned in political disdain because this has been thus far their answer to this tragedy. With enough will, we could still walk down the right path.


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