Reconstruction, Prosecution Regarding Metro L12 Remain Pending
For the third time, Mexico City’s Attorney General's Office (FGJ) requested an extension to file formal charges against 10 former government officials allegedly involved in the collapse of Metro Line 12 (L12). The FGJ requested the hearing be postponed from March 7 to May 2, one day before the first anniversary of the collapse of the Golden Line, in which 26 people died and 98 were injured.
The first hearing was held on Oct. 25, 2021. Enrique Horcasitas, former Head of the Metro Project, was not present due to COVID-19 symptoms. The hearing was moved to Dec. 6, 2021, when the hearing was once again delayed because the victims’ requested information on a reparation agreement that the Mexico City government had signed with Grupo Carso, Ica and Alstom, the consortium that originally constructed L12. This week, FGJ requested another date due to the addition of 10 volumes and 20 annexes to the investigation file.
After announcing the request to postpone the hearing, FGJ Head Ernestina Godoy emphasized that the investigation report established that the collapse was caused by deficiencies in the design and construction of the structure, as well as by the deficient quality of material used in the construction.
Ten months after the incident, relatives of the victims are still asking for justice. They demanded the construction of a memorial in honor of the people who were using public transport and lost their lives because of May 2021’s collapse. The lawyer who represents 14 of the victims, Teófilo Benítez, argued that one of the main reasons for the petition was to create awareness regarding the lack of justice from local authorities.
Likewise, Christopher Estupiñán, lawyer for another 20 of the victims, explained that no reparation agreements have been reached with the families he represents because so far, the proposals have not been satisfactory. From the victims' point of view, the damage reparation proposals do not cover the needs of those affected, especially regarding physical recovery and psychological support.
Meanwhile, the state of L12 continues to affect the mobility and economic activities of inhabitants near ground zero of the incident. Excelsior reported that people living close to the accident face challenges due to the increase in the cost and time of their transport. They also suffer from a lack of economic activity in the area caused by the absence of travelers passing through, which also brought on a worrying increase in insecurity.
In mid-February 2022, reconstruction works began at L12’s ground zero with the installation of metal sheets. The total investment required to bring L12 back into operation or the specific date on which it will reopen remain unknown. However, the works on L12 will consist of more than the reconstruction of the collapsed section around Tlahuac Avenue. At the end of February, the Mexico City government announced the expropriation of two plots of land located in the district of Álvaro Obregón for the extension of L12 for the segment Mixcoac-Observatorio and its connection with Line 1. The preceding extension project will be reactivated during the reconstruction works of the metro line.