There was, indeed, a petty political spirit after the collapse of Line 12 of the capital’s Metro on May 3, 2021, which left 26 dead. Some demanded the resignation of Claudia Sheinbaum, along with that of Florencia Serranía, director of the Metro, when the head of government made the decision to hire a private company to carry out an independent expert opinion.
He didn’t take time to consider options. On May 5, he announced to the Norwegian DNV, “a very prestigious company in forensic engineering, in forensic evaluation.” Myrian Urzúa, its secretary for comprehensive risk management and civil protection, added that she has “recognized international prestige, an expert in risk management, forensic analysis, and root cause analysis of catastrophic failures in strategic facilities.” DNV, she said, had started work since May 4.
It was criticized that DNV was working for the Pemex of the 4T, that it did not have experience in urban transport systems; that he was not a forensic engineering specialist, but Sheinbaum kept the decision to himself.
The first opinion was delivered on June 15 and revealed that there were flaws in bolt welds, missing bolts, different concrete in the slabs, unfinished or poorly executed welds. They were construction problems, so they represented a responsibility of Marcelo Ebrard’s government, but not maintenance, which would have implications for his. The second report was due on July 14, and the third and final report on August 30.
To date, however, they have not been presented. On August 3, Secretary Urzúa said that the field investigation was finished and that there had been many other advances, including 30 percent of the “final recommendations.” On August 23, Sheinbaum reported that the second report would be delayed because DNV “asked for more time.” On September 27, the head of government said: “They are working, they still haven’t given us a particular date.”
On March 5, 2022, however, Sheinbaum complained that the latest report has “a lot of observations.” He added that a lawyer for the company, Héctor Salomón Galindo Alvarado, “not only litigated against the president of the republic in 2012 for electoral reasons, but also in his history he has worked in the State of Mexico in the administration of Peña grandson”. On May 3, one year after the tragedy, he declared that he had initiated a contract termination lawsuit and described the third report as “deficient, poorly executed, with technical problems, tendentious and false. It is part of this use made by adversaries who have no morals, no ethics.” He warned the company not to release the report as it could bring criminal charges.
What is the problem with this opinion of a company of “recognized prestige”? The secretary of mobility of the capital government, Andrés Lajous, acknowledged this in an interview with Ciro Gómez Leyva: “The methodological problem that has been pointed out, and that has consequences for the analysis, is that suddenly and out of nowhere, and it is a surprise at the final ruling, sow the issue of maintenance”.
The report was perfect when it pointed out the faults of the original work, Ebrard’s responsibility, but unacceptable now that they “sow” the maintenance problems, which involve Sheinbaum. Yes, the head of government is right: it is petty to think about a political issue when there are 26 dead.
The FGR’s investigation of journalist Mario Maldonado for disseminating a recording, which was already on YouTube, of prosecutor Alejandro Gertz Manero with his deputy attorney Juan Ramos about the persecution of his former political family is of concern. The power of the Prosecutor’s Office should not be used for personal revenge.