Thursday, June 2, 2011

Overdue justice for the Guarderia ABC victims

On Tuesday we looked at Martha Rivera Alanis, a Mexican kindergarten teacher who was widely praised after she ensured the safety of her students while a gunfight erupted near the classroom. Her actions helped avert any of her students getting hit by errant bullets. Sadly, quick thinking and bravery was in short supply to avoid a tragedy that happened on June 5, 2009.

It was two years ago this Sunday that 49 children were killed and over 100 were injured when a fire swept through the Guarderia ABC (ABC Nursery) in Hermosillo, Mexico. Despite passing an inspection, numerous safety faults led to such a high death toll including “poor infrastructure of the daycare (the ceiling fell creating a “rain of fire”), problems with availability of the main exits, and lack of employees to carry out an appropriate emergency response (there was one adult for every 8-10 children).”

Since the tragedy at the state-run day care center, the federal government has taken some steps to provide medical care for the survivors. Unfortunately it is a minor compensation compared to the impunity enjoyed by those whose irresponsibility and incompetence led to an avoidable disaster.

In order to call attention to the lack of justice in the Guarderia ABC incident, a “citizens court” was organized in Mexico City’s Zocalo Plaza. As you can see in the below video, numerous figures and officials including ex-Sonoran governor Eduardo Bours Castelo were named as part of the “trial” held last week:

Demonstrations will be held on Sunday throughout Mexico in solidarity with the victims’ families and their call for justice.

Parents of the victims are also preparing to bring their case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights later this year.

Rather than being put on trial for his possible role in the fire, Bours Castelo will be honored by having a boulevard named after him. Such an action is symbolic of the ongoing heartache and suffering families of the victims of the Guarderia ABC fire have had to endure for nearly two years.

Video Source - El Universal via YouTube
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Milenio, El Universal, SDP Noticias, EHUI

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