Returning to normal

Returning to normal is always a considerable challenge for both the authorities and the population

Collapsed building in Iztapalapa – Photo by: Juan Carlos Reyes/EL UNIVERSAL

28/09/2017 09:00

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Redacción El Universal




The population of the several states of the Mexican Republic, which were struck by the September 19 earthquake, is trying to return to normal, to their daily lives. These means finding a new home for those left homeless, restoring the offices which are inhabitable and having the students go back to school.

The 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, as well as the constant tragedies caused by natural disasters which devastate our country, are proof that reconstruction in Mexico takes its time, and that it is achieved with patience, a clear vision, and – of course – resources. Returning to normal is always a considerable challenge for both the authorities and the population.

In order for the inhabitants of Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca, and Puebla to get back their life, it's necessary that local authorities approve the buildings they use for their daily activities – schools, offices, or residences.

Nevertheless, considering the severity of the consequences, in which Civil Protection estimates that one thousand and 500 buildings are at risk or inhabitable – in addition to the thousands of inspections pending – it's valid to ask whether the Government has the human resources and operational capacities required to meet the huge demand within the short term.

Similarly, public complaints from civil organizations have timely arisen regarding the lack of professionalism in the inspections currently being performed at schools, reason why it's right we demand to know who is in charge of the inspections, but above all: who is going to be responsible for the inspections and who is going to issue the final authorization?

It's vital that property inspection of buildings at risk is done within time periods which effectively guarantee the safety of those who are attempting to return to normal. Political intentions must be aimed towards the well-being of the Mexican people on the middle and long term, not only be done in a hurry to get over the whole process, overlooking quality.


Federal and local authorities cannot afford to lose control of the situation, just as they have the obligation to manage adequately the processes which will enable society to return to normal without risking people's lives. Thus, transparency on building inspections is needed, particularly for public buildings.

This process requires its own rhythm otherwise it could be expensive on the middle and long term. It's not worth it to have local authorities restoring an alleged normalcy hurriedly if it endangers – unknowingly – the lives of thousands of people.

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