Impunity and corruption surround the ABC daycare center fire

10 years after the tragic incident, victims and their families are still demanding justice

Impunity and corruption surround the ABC daycare center fire
The fire at the ABC daycare center took place in Sonora in 2009 - Photo: Alejandra Leyva/EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/12/2019 09:45 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:48
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Few tragedies have struck Mexico as the events that took place on June 5, 2009, in Hermosillo, Sonora. That day, there was a fire at the ABC daycare center, where 49 children died and other 24 suffered serious burns. Back in 2009, authorities said the victims would receive medical attention for as long as it was necessary. With this purpose, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) opened the Immediate Care Center for Special Cases (CAICE), which was in charge of providing medical attention to the victims.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL published an investigation by Hub de Periodismo de Investigación de la Frontera Norte (Mexico Border Investigative Reporting Hub); it reveals that the aid granted to the ABC daycare victims could have been better but several millions were apparently misused by those who led the CAICE.

Children from the ABC daycare deserve justice

When the institution wad led by Marcela Fimbres Ibarra, her sisters' husbands became suppliers to the IMSS, even when the pharmaceutical products sold by their company were up to three times more expensive than the average price. For example, fotoral was sold at MXN $750 per box, although its price is MXN $220 at most drug stores.

Nevertheless, this wasn't the only case. The mother of the suppliers also received MXN $1,088,211 in 2017, for delivering products, even when she had no previous registry as a service provider to the government. That same year, she was granted a contract for MXN $173,000, in order to provide “training and catering” services.

The corruption case was uncovered after the IMSS announced that it had allocated MXN $9 million to assist one family but without showing any evidence.

Mexico reopens the investigation of the 2009 ABC daycare fire

Until now, it was thought that the main problem in regards to the ABC daycare center was the delay in the delivery of justice. Today, it's been revealed that at least one government official made a profit from the tragedy. Why aren't there proper measures to prevent these actions? Moreover, it was the parents who discovered the irregularities.

Ten years after the tragic event, this fire has shown the weaknesses in different government departments even when the case is in the spotlight. It is not difficult to imagine what happens in regards to cases that don't receive media attention.

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