Hundreds of residents improvised this Friday a vigil right at the place where the metro line 12 of Mexico City crashed, in honor of the 26 victims left by the worst tragedy in the capital since the earthquake of 2017.
“When you leave, you want a little light to shine on you. We will always be remembering you,” said Leticia, a distressed 70-year-old neighbor who lives just a few feet from ground zero.
The tragedy occurred on Monday night when a beam of an elevated bridge on line 12, between Olivos and Tezonco stations, in the southeast of the capital, gave way, causing the fall of a train with passengers that was stranded in the form of “V”.
For many hours, relatives of the victims had to undertake a long pilgrimage through the ruins and hospitals in the area until they found their loved ones in the morgue of the Prosecutor’s Office.
CANDLES IN MEMORY OF THE VICTIMS
At dusk this Friday, residents of the area approached little by little the door of the Olivos station on line 12, which remains closed, to place candles in honor of the victims of the accident, which also left 88 injured, 33 of which are still in the hospital.
Likewise, in front of the place of the tragedy, where the rubble and a section of the hanging track still remain, neighbors improvised an altar in which in addition to candles they left balloons and confetti in memory of Giovanny, the only deceased minor.
“Many people said that he was going to fall, so many voices said that he was going to fall and he fell. Badly done, it was very badly done,” Leticia lamented just before improvising a mass followed by several dozen people.
“It was something very impressive, that I do not wish it to anybody,” said Rodrigo García Flores.
The so-called golden line was inaugurated in 2012 by the then mayor and current chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, to connect the popular neighborhoods of the south with the center of the capital.
It was used by 220,000 passengers every day, but it was surrounded by controversy from the beginning, since it cost more than expected and its service had to be suspended between 2014 and 2015 due to numerous failures.
Rodrigo, a 25-year-old young man who came to the place to lay flowers, feels the tragedy very closely since he had no choice but to take that line every day to go to work despite the fact that “it was wrong from the beginning” and it made a “horrible sound” around the corners.
“I came to give them a symbol of respect, of solidarity because maybe it would not have been them, maybe we would have been one of us,” he said.
So far, 24 deaths and more than 70 injuries have been reported after the collapse of a bridge.
THE MARCH OF JUSTICE
Parallel to the vigil, about a hundred people walked or cycled through part of Tláhuac Avenue, through which the line 12 bridge passes.
Under the slogan “It was not an accident, it was negligence”, they advanced for six stops on the line lifting white roses, although late at night a strong police device prevented them from reaching the scene of the accident.
“I am negligent because the work is not right. They need to review it well so that the same thing does not happen again,” said María Enriqueta with a lighted candle in her hand.
Inhabitants of an important area of the Mexican capital felt connected to others thanks to the line that collapsed.
Like her, 82.7% of Mexicans consider that the metro tragedy was due to “negligence” by the authorities, according to a survey by the Strategic Communication Cabinet.
Many residents had reported that the structure was damaged by the powerful earthquake that hit the capital on September 19, 2017.
However, the current mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, has ruled out for the moment the dismissal of the director of the suburban, Florencia Serranía, whose management was marked until now by a strong fire that burned the subway control center in January.
Sheinbaum met this Friday with the College of Engineers, which he commissioned a comprehensive review of the line to settle responsibilities, while a Norwegian company will be in charge of conducting an independent investigation.
So far there are 25 dead and dozens injured.
But for many, the political careers of both Foreign Minister Ebrard and Sheinbaum, both favorites to succeed Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have already been mortgaged in 2024.
“There must really be punishment for the guilty, there must be jail for everyone,” said Jesús, a 56-year-old protester.
AMLO WILL NOT VISIT THE PLACE
López Obrador, who decreed three days of official mourning and supports the investigation undertaken by the local government, ruled out visiting ground zero of the tragedy on Friday because he considers it “demagogic.”
“That is not my style, that has more to do with the spectacular and what was done before, I do not like hypocrisy,” he justified in his morning press conference.
In social networks, the president was criticized for these words because during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he had himself portrayed in hospitals.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.