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CDMX Probes Corruption Allegations Arising from Earthquake Building Damage

Mark Browne -
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October 5, 2017

The aftermath of Mexico’s September 19, 2017 earthquake (Wikimedia Commons/ProtoplasmaKid)

Authorities here have opened 140 separate investigations into possible building construction, design, and permitting irregularities following the collapse of nearly 40 buildings during the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that shook the city and central Mexico on Sept. 19.

Investigators will examine site and environmental permitting as well as failure to comply with building and design codes, according to Adrian Ramos, a spokesman for the city’s office of legal affairs. Homicide charges could result, he said.

“We’ll be looking for fraud and if builders need to be held responsible,” Ramos told

Thirty-eight investigations are focused on buildings that totally collapsed during the earthquake, the city’s chief attorney Edmundo Garrido Osorio told reporters in a news conference Tuesday.

Specialized forensic engineers are gathering evidence and looking at the construction materials used, he said.

City officials, he confirmed, are investigating the collapse of an administrative building at the privately owned Colegio Enrique Rebsamen for pre-school, primary and secondary students in the Tlalpan section of the city. Nineteen children and seven adults died when the building collapsed.

Last February, the school filed a falsified site permit with city authorities, according to Luis Mendieta, a spokesman for Tlalpan local government president Claudia Sheinbaum.

City officials knew the permit was irregular but did not shut down the school’s operations. “It’s their responsibility to do this, but they didn’t,” Mendieta charged.

Read the rest at

Related: Many in Mexico Think the Government and Political Parties Are Hampering Aid Efforts (NACLA)

Related: Disaster Solidarity: Mexico’s Earthquakes Shake Up Shock Doctrine Politics (The Progressive)

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