U2's Bono and Carlos Slim in Mexico City on Monday. U2's Bono and Carlos Slim in Mexico City on Monday.

Quake aid still coming from foreign donors

South Korea's contribution now at $3 million; rock band U2 to fund shelters for victims

The dust has settled and life is slowly returning to normal in central and southern Mexico but the international aid continues to arrive, focused now on the titanic task of reconstruction and providing for the thousands of victims.

South Korea announced a week ago it would donate US $1 million in earthquake aid. Now the figure is up to $3 million.

Ambassador Beeho Chun yesterday expressed regret for the pain caused by September’s natural disasters and at the same time reasserted his country’s commitment to continue offering relief.

Speaking before representatives of the international community in Mexico City during the celebration of Korea’s National Foundation Day, the diplomat said South Koreans “have donated over $3 million in disaster relief donations, including the contributions of Korean firms and non-governmental organizations, and fundraising continues to this day.”

More support came from the other side of the world this week when the Irish rock band U2 said it would donate a portion of ticket sales from two Mexico City concerts to buy shelters for earthquake victims.

The 2,000 temporary shelters will benefit 16,000 victims of the two earthquakes in September and will be erected in collaboration with the NGO Cadena, an organization that provides assistance to victims of natural disasters.

The band is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its album The Joshua Tree with a tour of the same name. It played its first Mexico City concert before a crowd of about 65,000 last night, during which U2 frontman Bono quoted from a well known Colombian writer.

“Like Gabriel García Márquez said, ‘Mexico’s spirit will never be broken!'” and declaring, “Viva México!”

The magazine Quién reported that one of the more emotional moments of the night came during the song Bad when the band inserted a part of the Mexican tune, Cielito Lindo, in which thousands of fans gave voice to the chorus: “Ay, ay, ay, ay canta y no llores.”

On Monday, U2 frontman Bono was a guest of businessman Carlos Slim at the latter’s Soumaya Museum.

Source: Milenio (sp), El Universal (sp), Quién (sp)

UPDATED 3:35pm CDT: More information was added regarding U2’s concert last night in Mexico City.


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