Mexico City Metro Crash: Were Corruption and Corner Cutting to Blame?
Harrowing footage shows the moment that the overpass in Mexico City gave way around 10.30pm local time on Monday, bringing the concrete bridge, as well as two Metro carriages down on traffic passing underneath, crushing the occupants of several vehicles.
Line 12, the line on which the disaster occurred, is the newest of the 14 lines that make up the Sistema Colectivo de Transporte, the transport heart of Mexico City, one of the world’s largest cities.
While details of the collapse are still emerging, Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, has laid the blame for the collapse on a supporting beam, which gave way exactly as a late-night Metro service was passing overhead.
The section where the crash occurred – near theOlivos station – was damaged in a 2017 earthquake, which left over 300 people dead, and caused billions of dollars of damage to the Mexican capital.
The previous administration, under disgraced former mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, was notoriously corrupt.
Mancera was mayor during the aftermath of the 2017 earthquake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale and destroyed swathes of the city. During his tenure, 1,680 members of the local government were sanctioned for corruption, with many key figures being prosecuted for the misappropriation of reconstruction funds, including money earmarked for repairing damage to the Metro system and the complex series of overpasses.
While it is too early to say who, or what is to blame for the tragedy, it is clear that years of economic mismanagement, corruption and nepotism have played a role in the worst accident that the Metro network has seen in its 51 years of operation.