The responsibility lies in poor budget planning
By Mario Maldonado
MEXICO CITY, May 06, 2021 (EL UNIVERSAL).- Beyond the crossing of accusations that were launched yesterday by the team of Marcelo Ebrard and Carlos Slim’s companies for the tragedy that occurred on Line 12 of the Metro, the responsibility for the unfortunate events lies in poor planning of the infrastructure budget of the government of Claudia Sheinbaum and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador , who have placed their political priorities and strategic projects, such as the Mayan Train, the Dos Bocas refinery or the Santa Lucía Airport, above basic coverage works or maintenance works, punishing the resources of the states to carry out these tasks.
The director of the Metro Collective Transport System, Florencia Serranía Soto, is the best example of this dangerous deviation in focus, since the person in charge of guaranteeing the optimal operation of the largest train network in Latin America had been dedicated to making analysis and projections for the construction of the Mayan Train.
While the metro lines and facilities exhibited more and more damage, which materialized with collisions between convoys and even a fire in its headquarters, Serranía Soto dispatched from its private offices in Lake Zurich, 245, in the Granada Ampliación neighborhood.
The anticipated participation of Florencia Serranía in the planning of the Mayan Train should not have gone unnoticed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, since the engineer and doctor from the University of London was a specialist on the subject; the president placed her in the general management of the Metro in 2004, after he contributed in his government of the Federal District to reduce by more than 30% the budget of the Electric Transport Network from the General Directorate of Transportation Planning, embedded in the then Setravi, of Jenny Saltiel.
Serranía Soto would return to the general management of the Metro 12 years later, at the invitation of her former colleague at the UNAM Faculty of Engineering, Claudia Sheinbaum, although she never abandoned her private practice.
The location of the Serranía Soto office in the Plaza Carso complex led to a series of allegations of an alleged link between the current director of the Metro and the companies of Carlos Slim, builders of the section that corresponds to the Olivos station.
This did not help at first to the strategy that emerged from the Chancellery, to distribute the responsibilities of the tragedy up to three different administrations; however, neither the official who clings to her position nor Claudia Sheinbaum herself will be able to avoid allegations of negligence.
For Ebrard and Grupo Carso damage could be on a larger scale, with responsibilities that may be criminal, although not heads to operators contract line 12.
In the center of the hurricane is placed the Director of Carso Infraestructura, Antonio Gómez García, who supervised the construction of the work in 2013 and also would have reviewed its structure after the 2017 earthquakes.
Carso changed the technical specifications of the aerial construction and instead of manufacturing the concrete beams – a more stable material – he made them of steel, which was endorsed by the calculators of Grupo Colinas de Buen and by the then capital government. The decision ignored the recommendations of AMLO’s favorite structurist, José María Riobóo, with which Slim’s company benefited its Swecomex subsidiary.
Is there a strike for Metro workers?
The secretary of the Metro Workers Union, Fernando Espino, did not hesitate to point out those responsible for the tragedy on Line 12: “the collapse of the trab located between the two stations was due to a structural failure.”
“A work so new, eight or nine years old, does not have to suffer a situation of this nature. Such a new work like this cannot fall,” he said yesterday in an interview with the media.
Faced with this situation, the nearly 8 thousand workers of the Mexican Union of Metro Workers announced a possible stoppage in all public transport lines due to the poor conditions in which it operates.
And it is that despite the fact that the Head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum, assured that the Metro budget has not been reduced, and much less in maintenance, the data indicates otherwise.
What a crisis for the two possible presidential candidates, Sheinbaum and Ebrard.
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