Protesters demand justice for Mexico metro crash victims

People light candles and place flowers at the site of a Mexico City metro rail accident that left 25 dead and sparked calls for justice

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Mexico City (AFP)

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the Mexican capital on Friday demanding justice for the 25 people killed when an elevated metro line with a history of problems came crashing down.

The demonstrators set off from various parts of Mexico City and converged on the site of the accident where they paid tribute to the victims with candles and flowers.

“I’m here in solidarity with all the people who died. They no longer have a voice,” said Briseida Noguez, a local resident.

“What happened is due to negligence, due to corruption,” she told AFP.

Some minor scuffles broke out with the police who tried at times to prevent the protesters from approaching the scene of the tragedy.

But in the end the police made way for the demonstrators who approached the place where the overpass collapsed on Monday night, sending two carriages and their passengers plunging down.

Demonstrators shouted “justice!” and “present” as the names of the 25 victims were read out.

“It’s a disgrace for society, for our community. I hope that all the people rest in peace and hopefully receive justice,” said 21-year-old Erick Medina.

The protesters carried banners blaming left-wing politicians, who have run the capital since 1997.

The metro line which partially collapsed, the city’s newest, has been plagued by a series of problems since it was inaugurated in 2012.

Norwegian engineering company DNV has been asked to help prosecutors with the investigation into the disaster, which has prompted accusations of negligence and demands for justice from devastated relatives.

The furor has engulfed two of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s political proteges and leading contenders to be his left-wing party’s candidate in the 2024 presidential elections.

One of them, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, faces questions about whether the network has been properly maintained since she took office in 2018.

The other, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, oversaw the development and inauguration of the line involved in the crash in his former position as Mexico City mayor.

Lopez Obrador has promised an in-depth investigation to uncover the truth behind the accident, while urging people not to speculate about who is to blame.

© 2021 AFP