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Victims for how long?

The reconstruction of Mexico City will take 5 more years to finish, as long as resources of over MXN $6,000 million are assigned to the process

Victims for how long?
While the government turned its back on the victims, hundreds of Mexicans helped each other during the crisis – Photo: Jorge Dan López/EFE
English 19/09/2018 09:18 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 12:42
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For dozens of victims of the 1985 earthquake, the promise to find a new home after losing their own during the earthquake never became a reality. They were provisionally installed in campsites...and they have stayed there up until this day. Will history repeat itself for those who saw their homes crumble or in ruins, exactly 12 months ago?

The Commission for the Reconstruction of Mexico City anticipates, just to begin, it will take five years to finish the work to help the victims, as long as resources of over MXN $6,000 million are assigned, the same sum allocated in 2018. What if they don't fulfill that condition? How long will the victims have to wait?

Days after the 2017 earthquake, federal and local authorities offered immediate help and to rebuild the homes as soon as possible. Many things have happened, and a year later the victims are still living with family, campsites, or an unsafe home.

In the capital, the attempt to have a transparent plan, supported by the citizens, failed, because of the influence of political parties. On the federal level, there are a large number of complaints from victims who didn't receive the support offered by them. Two weeks ago, EL UNIVERSAL documented several cases from victims in Oaxaca who were affected by the September 7 earthquake, who were to receive MXN $120,000 to rebuild their homes, but they only received MXN $30,000. Both local and federal authorities have explaining to do.

After the 1985 earthquake, Mexico City was presented as the forefront of anti-seismic technology, with the alert system, constant drills, and updates to the construction rules. The September 7, 2017 earthquake seemed to confirm it, but 12 days later, another earthquake of a higher intensity and with a closer epicenter collapsed buildings, took dozens of lives, and uncovered situations that could have diminished the tragedy.

In the last year, the housing land-use of several buildings were modified to allow companies to install their offices. The small stairs weren't enough to evacuate dozens of people, besides the fact that the structures were modified. An example of this is the building in Viaducto 106, which resisted the 1957 and 1985 earthquakes, but not the one in 2017, after abandoning its family orientation.

In the face of nature's force, it's true that very little can be done; nevertheless, the correct application of the law, under official supervision, will mitigate the effects. But if the authority doesn’t care, they're contributing to a possible tragedy.

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