The head of government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, decided to blow up the bridge she was crossing, because it would be worse if she reached the other side of the river. That’s what happened last week when, a year after the tragedy that killed 26 people on Metro line 12, he dismissed the expert opinion of the Norwegian company hired for it, citing lying, conflicts of interest and profit. Accused of wanting to be politically. He would have to prove those convictions, without effectively announcing to proceed with the civil suit that he would file, and would have to play more tricks so as not to reveal the veracity of the expert’s opinion.
The accused Det Norske Veritas (DNV), which has been established for more than 155 years and operates in more than 100 countries, responded with a brief statement. They complied with contractual requirements, they confirmed, the methodology was correct—and agreed upon—and there was no conflict of interest among those involved. What he gave, he told, is what he found to be the root cause of the tragedy on Line 12, the findings of which worried Sheinbaum, who ran to the National Palace to report that he was going to detonate the contract.
His team, apparently for eight weeks, reviewed the DNV’s final expert opinion, and Sheinbaum decided not to make it public. This regime is accustomed to ignoring things and leaving many unfinished as they have managed to normalize impunity, it seems that everything was being forgotten, until the company demanded payment for the work. No, it was estimated at 20 million pesos for the secretary at that time. Comprehensive Management of Capital and Civil Defense, Maryam Urza. The pressure to pay changed the status quo of silence and set the bridge in motion. Though rhetorical as a question, the question remains: What if he only paid? After all, he was already manipulating the victims and doing damage control by playing with the DNV information.
On the eve of the anniversary of the tragedy, the authorities entered into an indemnity agreement with most of the relatives of the victims, through which legal proceedings and criminal punishment would be avoided. The settlement was reached without complications, which, incidentally, managed to adjourn his impeachment hearing for the fourth time, given indications of alleged responsibilities by the Office of the Capital Attorney General. In other words, the settlement was done before the charges were formally known. Prior to this, the construction company of Carlos Slim, which lifted the collapsible beam, paid for its repairs. If the final expert opinion of the DNV had been known, it would not have been so easy.
Sheinbaum’s interpretation at the National Palace is that if the DNV’s final expert opinion had been conveyed, it could have been used as evidence by a group of relatives of the victims, who had committed crimes against the capital for alleged offenses of injuries. A lawsuit was filed in the prosecutor’s office. and culpable homicide. The main argument is that Line 12 was unsafe on the elevated section – built by Slim’s company – that it was poorly designed and built, and could not support the weight of the cars. The latest expert opinion is not known, but it has been disclosed in the press, and has been confirmed by capital executives that there was poor or no maintenance, which would complement the initial complaints. The company directly affected would have been Slim’s CICSA, which was encouraged to create an elevated section at the refusal of other companies, noting that it was not possible to do so.
But Slim had struck a deal with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with zero criminal or administrative sanctions for his company in exchange for reparation payments, and Sheinbaum, who was convinced he would centralize the crime of the tragedy in CICSA. wanted, was not his interlocutor.. The head of government had to honor his boss’s agreement with Slim, but this was not enough to break the contract with the DNV. If the expert’s opinion had been known, there would have been politico-electoral ramifications as well.
Sheinbaum told the National Palace that he would file a civil suit against the DNV, ostensibly as a preventive damage control strike, as the expert’s opinion was questioned by Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard, under whose management Mexico. City line 12 was built in. The technicians’ objections about the route of the elevated section, and its finance secretary Mario Delgado, who hastened his boss to inaugurate before completing his term, acquired wagons that belonged not to the metro but to the railway, by which Design with larger axes than pointed.
Much damaged by expert opinion was the former director of the metro, Florencia Serrania, who has preserved this transport system in its history, despite having suffered two of the biggest incidents. Serrania, in an unexplained omission by the capital prosecutor’s office, was not called to testify, and was recently hired by Conesit. It has long been believed that Serrania is Sheinbaum’s shelter, but this is not so. His main support is from the President and especially his wife.
A fourth potential victim of the expert report would be Sheinbaum, and if judicial procedures were normal in Mexico, it is likely the president himself, whose austerity policy could be found to be the main reason for the lack of maintenance. During the year before the tragedy, there was no Metro head in the Deputy Directorate General for Maintenance. If there was no money for maintenance, it is because there was no budget, and the lack of resources fell on Sheinbaum and López Obrador.
The escalation of the break with the DNV is rather a tactic, copied from the president, to disqualify the person for discrediting what he does. Sheinbaum received presidential approval to avoid impacting the 2024 presidential elections and so that they would not affect him or his dolphins. For now, it remains to be seen.