Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1135/32569

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2021

Mexico City subway train collapse - negligence, corruption and capitalism

The collapsed Line 12. Photo: Secretariat for comprehensive risk management and civil protection of Mexico City/CC

The collapsed Line 12. Photo: Secretariat for comprehensive risk management and civil protection of Mexico City/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Ashley Rogers, Independent Socialist Group (USA)

An overpass carrying a subway train collapsed in Mexico City on 3 May, killing at least 26 people and injuring 80. The train was travelling on an elevated portion of Line 12 when a section near Olivos Station collapsed onto traffic below.

This incident marks the worst disaster in the history of Mexico City's subway system, the second biggest in North America, which carries four million passengers a day.

Days later, protesters marched to the site of the collapse, chanting 'Negligence and corruption kill!' and 'Let the state fall, not the metro!' Only a mass movement of workers and youth, with the crucial involvement of unionised metro workers, has the power to demand and win the response workers and victims need.

Line 12 - the 'Golden Line' - was the most recent addition to the subway network, announced by then-mayor Marcelo Ebrard in 2007. On its completion in 2012, President Felipe Calderón hailed it as "an engineering feat that competes with the best in the world." The massive investment was used to justify a fare hike under Ebrard's successor, Miguel Ángel Mancera.

Yet only two years after the line opened - and only two months after the fare hike - subway director Joel Ortega admitted in a news conference that Line 12 had become too dangerous to ride.

While the line was closed for a year and a half for repairs, Mancera moved swiftly to find scapegoats, disqualifying 33 officials involved in the incident from public service in 2014, and issuing arrest warrants for six officials, including project head Enrique Horcasitas, in 2015.

Horcasitas was accused of using his position to give the contract to construction firm ICA, where his brother is a member of the board of directors.

Yet while Mancera was quick to prosecute minor politicians, the three firms that constructed Line 12 faced no repercussions for their involvement under his term.

While ICA built much of Line 12, the construction company Carso, owned by Mexico's richest man, Carlos Slim, was in charge of the section that collapsed on 3 May.

Against recommendations from Grupo Riobóo, the engineering firm that designed many of the previous subway expansions, Carso decided against using concrete for the beams of the overpass, preferring to design them out of steel, to cut costs and increase profits by using Carso's steel subsidiary Swecomex.

Following the magnitude 7.1 Puebla earthquake in 2017, locals noted that the section near Olivos Station had suffered serious structural damage, and the line was again closed. Officials continued to neglect necessary repairs and locals expressed fears that the structure was in danger of collapse.

Fernando Espino Arévalo, head of the Metro Workers Union (STM), stated that a number of problems on Line 12 were reported to authorities throughout the line's operation, including vibrating support columns on elevated portions of track.

However, the STM's warnings about Line 12 and their calls to take over maintenance of the line were both ignored. According to Jesús Urban, secretary general of the STM, damage at the section that collapsed was reported six months ago, but their warnings were ignored and subsequent maintenance work was inadequate.

The subway bridge collapse is another horrible example of how the capitalist drive to profit off of human needs like transportation and health care will always come before safety and human life.

The working people of Mexico are the only group with the power to root out corruption, end austerity, and build a movement for safe, efficient, and free mass transportation. Only a revolutionary socialist party in Mexico can lead the fight for public services that benefit everyone as part of the struggle for socialism.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation Ł

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 26 May 2021:


What we think

Palestinians need a new socialist intifada


News

Our lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

Fight for the right to protest

Great British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

Organise to oppose Tory academisation plans

Lancaster Greens do deal with Tories

News in brief


NHS

Organise for 3 July NHS pay protests


Scottish Independence

Where now for the Scottish independence movement?


Workplace

Metroline London bus workers win huge victory

Goodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

Thurrock refuse workers beat council and bin pay cut

RMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

NUJ leadership pushes through subs increase but left lands blows at conference

CWU elections: Vote for a fighting, campaigning, socialist EC member

'Fire and rehire' attempts spread - coordinated fightback needed

Cadent Gas plans 200 job losses


International

Mexico City subway train collapse - negligence, corruption and capitalism

US right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built


Campaigns

Stop Israeli state terror against Palestinians

Leicester protest against arms supplies to Israel

Palestine protesters donate to fund socialist material

Cladding anger builds - protest on 5 June


Readers' Opinion

Get up, stand up - don't give up the fight!

Film review: Nomadland

TV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 May 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Mexico:

triangleMexico: police silence on horrific attack on CWI member

triangleMexico: The movement of 68 and the massacre of Tlatelolco

triangleMexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed

triangleThe ongoing capitalist crisis and the struggle for a socialist world

triangleUS: "We've had to build a huge culture of resistance"

Capitalism:

triangleLife expectancy falls - a condemnation of capitalism

triangle10 years since Occupy

triangleWe won't pay for capitalism's failings

triangleDeaths of despair: Health crisis - capitalism in the dock

Workers:

triangleSocialists and the four-day week

triangleStop press: Sparks walk out

triangleWorkers at 13 colleges to strike over pay

Metro:

triangleWorking-class based campaign needed

triangleRMT condemns Welsh government rail privatisation

Construction:

triangleLondon floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

International

International

22/9/21

Germany

German general election

8/9/21

Libya

Libya - ten years after Gaddafi's overthrow

8/9/21

US

US Supreme Court refuses to challenge Texas abortion ban

8/9/21

US

Keep fascists out of Portland: Build a mass movement to fight the right

25/8/21

Lebanon

Reflections on the Lebanese tragedy one year on

25/8/21

Scotland

SNP-Green deal will not deliver for workers and youth

25/8/21

Nigeria

Nigeria: Comrade Omomeewa, student leader and socialist campaigner, killed by armed assailants

25/8/21

Afghanistan

Afghanistan in crisis:

25/8/21

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The Taliban takeover - what are the lessons for the workers' movement internationally

11/8/21

Capitalism

Beirut's devastating port explosion one year on

28/7/21

Workers

In brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

28/7/21

Hospital

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

28/7/21

Cuba

Cuban protests - what do they represent?

19/7/21

Africa

South Africa: Build working class unity for way forward for all

19/7/21

Germany

Germany: Flood disaster affects hundreds of thousands

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999