January 16, 2021

Human Rights Commission blames Mexico Government for a hole that left 2 dead

Human Rights Commission blames Mexico Government for a hole that left 2 dead



The National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) of Mexico today blamed the Mexican government for irregularities in the construction of a highway in which a tunnel was formed that left two dead in July 2017.

At a press conference, the second visitor of the CNDH, Enrique Guadarrama, said that the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) of Mexico "was the main responsible for the irregularities arising from the planning and execution of the work."

He indicated that the negligence "produced the necessary elements to open the tunnel" of the so-called Paso Express of the Mexico-Cuernavaca highway, in the central state of Morelos.

The result of the CNDH's investigations will be delivered to the Attorney General's Office (PGR, prosecutor's office) so that it may be added to the investigation folder on the case.

The CNDH detected "irregularities in the design, bidding, hiring of companies, as well as a possible repeated scheme of administrative alteration" in which the National Bank of Public Works and Services (Banobras) was also involved.

"The road did not have the necessary studies or permits in environmental and hydraulic matters at the time of expanding to ten lanes and not eight, as originally planned," said Guadarrama.

In addition, the "possible scheme of manipulation and fragmentation of contracts" between authorities and construction companies caused the cost of the works to increase by 68% with respect to the planned budget and the construction to be extended seven months longer than expected.

For this reason, the CNDH demanded from the Ministry of Public Function an "integral" investigation of the companies and public servants involved in a case that remains "unpunished".

The CNDH also pointed out the National Water Commission for not having informed the Transportation Secretariat at the time of the points of hydraulic damage in the adit zone.

Also, the City Council of the city of Cuernavaca, capital of Morelos, "omitted to maintain the drainage" that crossed the tunnel and the Government of Morelos "omitted to take charge before the accident of the two people who lost their lives."

On July 12, 2017, a father and son died when their vehicle collapsed in the pit five meters deep and seven in diameter that opened at the height of the municipality of Emiliano Zapata.

One day after the tragedy, the head of the SCT, Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, announced the dismissal of the delegate of the institution in the state of Morelos, José Luis Alarcón, because it took too long to address the complaints of the neighbors for the failures in the He did not report damages to his superiors.

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