MEXICO CITY – As Mexicans affected by two September 2017 earthquakes continue to try to rebuild their homes brick by brick, complaints about insufficient government aid are widespread.
In most towns of central and southern Mexico, the areas hardest hit by the Sept. 7 and Sept. 19 quakes, repair work carried out by the owners themselves or by construction workers they have hired is evident at many homes.
But many Mexicans, who have spent their savings and whatever aid they have received, fear they will not have enough money left to live again under their own roofs.
“President Enrique Peña Nieto hasn’t come back around here,” Consuelo Francisco Hurtado, a resident of the Jojutla municipality, which was closest to the powerful Sept. 19 quake’s epicenter, told EFE.
“We’d like him to come back and see what’s happening, because what they gave us hasn’t been enough, and (we) don’t have funds” of our own, said the woman, who lost everything in that earthquake.
Complaints about a lack of food and housing are heard over and over again four months after the earthquakes damaged or destroyed some 180,000 homes.
The federal government announced the distribution of assistance through the Natural Disasters Fund (Fonden) in allocations proportionate to the severity of damage, with one portion given out in cash payments and another specifically earmarked for the purchase of materials.
Assistance to people affected by the quakes, which can amount to as much as 120,000 pesos ($6,450) in the case of those whose homes were completely destroyed, also has come from funds in different states.
However, many people affected by the earthquakes say the assistance is either insufficient or has not been distributed fairly.
“With the little money we got from Fonden we bought all the material, and we will proceed with demolition step by step,” Jojutla resident Jose Luis Campos Gomez said, adding that he had endured four extremely difficult months in the aftermath of the temblors.