“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake

“As long as one single neighbor is still displaced from their home, the crisis that started with the earthquake continues,” says Gabriel Macías of the Tlalpan United group of neighbors whose apartment complex collapsed in the Sept. 19 quake. Around him crowd dozens of journalists, neighbors and members of the “Topos”, the moles, Mexico City’s volunteer rescue crews.

As the midday sun beat down, representatives of the neighborhood organization joined the United Earthquake Victims of Mexico City ( Damnificados Unidos ) to block Tlalpan Avenue, one of the city’s busiest streets, calling for an effective reconstruction strategy. A year after the 7.1 earthquake that destroyed their homes, many still don’t have a place to live. The signs and comments showed the rage at the government’s slow response to their needs.

Macías voiced the frustration, saying that city authorities mislead residents of the Tlalpan apartment on numerous occasions, but “they could not divide us or marginalize us for one reason: our struggle is just and has no objective other than to return to our homes.”

As he finished his remarks the crowd began to chant, “ Damnificados unidos, serán reconstruidos ,”—“Victims organizing together, we will rebuild.”

Hundreds of people joined the Tlalpan families to commemorate the earthquake and observe a minute of silence at 1:14 p.m. Following the silence, the city-wide earthquake alarm blared at 1:16 pm in a planned drill staged at the moment the ground started shake in 2017. The protestors raised their fists, the symbol used during rescue efforts to call […]

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