Thursday, November 30, 2023

Supervisor of project at school where students died arrested for homicide

The construction supervisor of a project at a Mexico City school in which 26 people died in the September 19 earthquake has been arrested for homicide.

Police arrested one of the directors responsible for construction, Juan Mario Velarde Gámez, yesterday in Querétaro.

The arrest followed investigations into construction techniques utilized at the Colegio Enrique Rébsamen in Tlalpan, where rescuers worked for days to free victims trapped in the debris, a story that drew international attention.

A wing of the school where an apartment that had been constructed on an upper floor collapsed in the earthquake, killing 19 students and seven adults.

Investigators found the collapse was caused by poor construction of the apartment unit, built by the school’s owner and principal, Mónica García Villegas, for whom an arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice have been issued.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for Juan Apolinar Torales, a second director responsible for construction, or DRO as they are known. Both directors have been accused of helping García illegally build the apartment on top of the school.

Families of those who died are demanding that authorities improve Civil Protection regulations, especially those pertaining to schools.

Source: Milenio (sp), Excélsior (sp)

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