Embraced, crying and upset by the “abandonment” of the local prosecutor’s office, relatives of the dead and survivors of the collapse of an elevated section of the Mexico City subway commemorated the first anniversary of the tragedy on Tuesday.
“There is nothing that can repair the lives of our relatives, with nothing I am going to repair the life of my son, but today we want to leave a mark and that this does not happen again,” said Marisol Tapia, mother of a 12-year-old boy who passed away on the tragic night of May 3, 2021.
The victims placed crosses of more than two meters high made with lilies and red roses at the foot of the fallen beam of Line 12.
Black blankets cover part of the fractured structure a year ago that left 26 dead and dozens injured.
“Today it was us, but we want to prevent another misfortune like this from happening tomorrow,” added Brandon Giovanni’s mother, who was traveling on the subway that night to buy him a gift.
Grupo Carso, of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, said it will repair the collapsed road and reinforce the part it built of the elevated section to adapt it to the new requirements that the local government implemented after an earthquake in 2017, which left more than 369 dead.
But this group of 12 relatives, divided from the rest, considers that it is necessary that this entire section be demolished for fear that it will collapse again.
“Let it be thrown away (collapse). I want it to be thrown away! It’s not a whim!” Sergio Santiago, 40, explodes over the loudspeaker.
– Serious consequences –
“I am adrift due to the lack of support,” says Santiago, who confesses through tears that he tried to commit suicide twice “because it is difficult to live like this.”
On the night of May 3, Santiago was traveling in one of the cars that hung in the air forming a large V after the collapse of the beam at the height of the Olivo station on Line 12, in the populous east of the metropolis.
“I have a broken thigh, I also have problems with my tibia, and I can’t walk,” he adds.
90% of the relatives of the deceased and injured have signed reparation agreements with Slim’s construction company, which include a confidentiality clause and the promise of the beneficiary to refrain from any lawsuit in the future.
But they also establish that the firm does not admit guilt in the incident.
“It does not imply, nor should it be interpreted, considered or held, as recognition of any responsibility,” says the text of that agreement leaked to the media, which includes a confidentiality clause.
This group of 12 family members will not sign those agreements because, they say, the prosecutor’s office in the Mexican capital did not consider the expert reports to calculate the compensation for the comprehensive damage.
– “We are human beings” –
The prosecutor of Mexico City, Ernestina Godoy, called on the victims who have yet to adhere to the agreement to “approach the prosecution.”
“Knowing that there is no amount that can repair the loss of a loved one and in accordance with the principle of alternative justice, a diagnosis was prepared that weighed the income that the victims left or will stop receiving, for example, the loss of the head of provider family,” Godoy said in a message released Monday.
The fiscal investigation concluded that the collapse was caused by “errors in its construction” that put at risk “the structural stability” of that part of the work.
Eight former officials and two legal representatives were charged with the probable commission of homicide and negligent damage. A hearing scheduled for Monday was postponed to June 6 because one of the accused did not appear.
So far no imputation of the prosecution against companies is known.
“The government forgets that we are human beings,” Tapia denounced after insisting on the demolition.