Socialist Party :: Mexico City metro collapse
Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1135/32569
From The Socialist, May 26, 2021
Line 12 collapsed. Photo: Secretariat for Global Risk Management and Civil Protection of Mexico / CC (Click to enlarge)
Ashley Rogers, Independent Socialist Group (United States)
A viaduct carrying a metro train collapsed in Mexico City on May 3, killing at least 26 people and injuring 80. The train was traveling on an elevated part of line 12 when a section near Olivos station s ‘collapsed on the traffic below.
This incident marks the worst disaster in the history of the Mexico City metro, the second largest in North America, which carries four million passengers a day.
Days later, protesters marched to the site of the collapse, chanting “Neglect and corruption kill!” “And” Let us drop the state, not the metro! Only a mass movement of workers and youth, with the crucial involvement of unionized metro workers, has the power to demand and obtain the response that workers and victims need.
Line 12 – the “Golden Line” – was the newest addition to the metro network, announced by then-mayor Marcelo Ebrard in 2007. Upon completion in 2012, President Felipe Caldern greeted it as “an engineering feat that rivals the best. in the world. ”The massive investment was used to justify a tariff hike under Ebrard’s successor, Miguel ngel Mancera.
Yet just two years after the line opened – and just two months after the fare hike – metro director Joel Ortega admitted at a press conference that line 12 had become too dangerous to use. .
As the line was closed for a year and a half for repairs, Mancera quickly sought scapegoats, disqualifying 33 officials involved in the civil service incident in 2014 and issuing arrest warrants against six officials, including the chief. of the Enrique Horcasitas project, in 2015..
Horcasitas was accused of using his position to give the contract to the construction company ICA, where his brother is a member of the board.
Yet while Mancera was quick to prosecute minor politicians, the three companies that built Line 12 suffered no repercussions for their involvement under his tenure.
While the ICA built much of Line 12, the Carso construction company, owned by Mexico’s richest man Carlos Slim, was in charge of the section which collapsed on May 3. .
Against the recommendations of Grupo Riobo, the engineering company that designed many previous metro extensions, Carso decided not to use concrete for the viaduct beams, preferring to design them in steel, reducing costs and increasing profits. using Carso’s steel subsidiary, Swecomex. .
Following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Puebla in 2017, residents noted that the section near Olivos station suffered severe structural damage and the line was closed again. Officials continued to neglect necessary repairs, and residents have expressed fears the structure is in danger of collapsing.
Fernando Espino Arvalo, head of the Union of Metro Workers (STM), said a number of issues on line 12 have been reported to authorities throughout the line’s operation, including support columns vibrating on raised parts of the track.
However, the STM’s warnings regarding line 12 and their calls to take over maintenance of the line were both ignored. According to Jess Urban, general secretary of the STM, damage to the collapsed section was reported six months ago, but their warnings were ignored and subsequent maintenance work was insufficient.
The collapse of the subway bridge is another gruesome example of how the capitalist will to take advantage of human needs like transportation and health care will always come before safety and human life.
Mexican workers are the only group with the power to root out corruption, end austerity and build a movement for safe, efficient and free public transport. Only a revolutionary socialist party in Mexico can lead the struggle for public services that benefit everyone within the framework of the struggle for socialism.
- This article can be read in full on socialistworld.net
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