Mexico City residents still in desperate need of aid one year after earthquake

Latin America

It’s been one year since a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City. It killed more than 360 people. Many of the thousands left homeless are still living in damaged buildings or government shelters. On Wednesday, they remembered the quake’s victims, and called on the government for more help.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City.

Families brought flowers on Wednesday to the Rebsamen Elementary School, which collapsed during the 2017 earthquake. Thirty-seven people were killed, many of them children.

They recalled the powerful earthquake that destroyed buildings and killed hundreds in Mexico City, and surrounding states. Residents conducted safety drills, as they’ve done repeatedly since a different earthquake hit 33-years ago on September 19. It’s the very same day as last year’s quake.

Hundreds of Mexico City residents are still homeless, and some have built shacks in local parks. For nearly a year, tents donated by China have served as temporary homes set up in a public park, which used to be a playground for children.

This week, Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission released recommendations for helping those left homeless by the earthquake. Angel Fuentes says government officials created a bureaucratic nightmare for earthquake victims who need housing. He says even the Mexican Red Cross has abandoned them.

“The Mexican Red Cross received the equivalent of millions of dollars in donations. But it came only one time to bring us food here for us residents of this housing unit,” Fuentes said.

Dozens died here at one multifamily, housing complex when buildings crumbled. One resident said hundreds are still waiting for it to be rebuilt.

“We are struggling to make certain that no other neighbors ever die as the consequence of an earthquake. In this city, they’ll continue to happen and in the future others will be homeless,” Juan Pablo Guerrero of the United Homeless People of Mexico City said.