MEXICO CITY – A proposed monument to be built on the site of a collapsed building near the center of Mexico City in honor of the victims of the Sept. 19, 2017, earthquake is sparking controversy among activist groups almost nine months after the temblor struck.
Sergio Beltran, a forensic architect and the founder of the “Nuestro Memorial 19S” (Our Sept. 19 Memorial) movement, told EFE that the city government is focusing on “creating a physical space” rather than on conducting “an investigation” into what caused the building to collapse.
The representatives of the movement – which is made up of affected tenants, as well as relatives of victims and activists – said that the March request for bids to design and build the 60 million peso ($3 million) monument was flawed and lacked transparency.
The winning proposal was presented by Martin L. Gutierrez, with the monument being aimed at “providing a public service” as well as “reinforcing the culture of civil protection,” according to the pre-requisites outlined by authorities.
Mexico City’s head of government, Jose Ramon Amieva, on Friday said that capital residents would be consulted about the memorial.
“No decision will be made regarding this public space without first consulting the citizens,” Amieva said in a Twitter post.
The magnitude-7.1 earthquake shook Mexico’s central and southern states, leaving 228 dead in Mexico City plus about 140 fatalities elsewhere throughout the region.