Corruption is blamed for hundreds of deaths in Mexico City earthquake

The deaths of hundreds of people in at least 28 of the 38 collapses in the 2017 earthquake in Mexico City were neither random nor unpreventable.

Critics say the death toll was caused by a selective failure to enforce some of the strictest and most admired “quake-proof” building codes in world, put in place after the devastating 1985 earthquake killed thousands.

Profit-seeking in Mexico City’s booming real estate markets, particularly in trendy neighborhoods, apparently drove illegal cost-cutting measures by construction firms.

And government officials also relied on private-sector safety inspections that provided little oversight.

According to Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, a nonprofit group, conflicts of interest were commonplace, with construction firms using their own engineers to approve shoddy work.

Little has changed since the last earthquake: Safety inspections are still being outsourced.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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