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Citizens Hope Earthquake Will Shake Up a Corrupt Mexican System

Jude Webber - The Financial Times
go to original
October 11, 2017

The Mexican government learned some lessons after the devastating earthquake of 1985, but there hasn't been an end to corruption, says Laura Carlsen of the Center for International Policy (TheRealNews)

Update: In Photos: Rebuilding Mexico's Barrios After September's Earthquakes (teleSUR)

The earthquake that killed 228 people in Mexico City last month has provoked a painful public debate about the role endemic corruption played in the destruction.

Did the Enrique Rébsamen school, where 19 children and seven adults died, collapse because of an apparently unauthorised extension to the owner’s apartment perched on the top that city officials failed to stop? Did the six-storey office building where the last quake victim’s body was recovered fall down because it was only supposed to have two floors?

Official investigations are under way into these and other alleged irregularities laid bare by the September 19 quake that has magnified scrutiny of what President Enrique Peña Nieto once called Mexico’s “cultural” corruption.

The earthquake struck in a year of mounting scandals, including the arrest of three former state governors from the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) on charges of corruption and allegations that a senior government official took bribes from Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction company.

“I think the earthquake will be a watershed moment, catalysing people’s anger and disappointment at the party system and politics in general ... and channelling increased demands for greater vigilance against corruption,” said María Amparo Casar, executive director of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, a civil society group.

She and other NGOs are pushing for a full assessment of quake damage “to see how much of this disaster was caused by corruption ... and could have been avoided without it”.

Read the rest at The Financial Times

Related: Quake Compensation Amounts Questioned: Money Won't Go Very Far in Rebuilding or Replacing Victims' Homes (Mexico News Daily)

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