Mexico City – Two years after the death of 49 children in a fire at a Mexican daycare center, parents and activists presented a documentary here on the impunity surrounding the case.
They decided to make the film, titled "ABC: Justicia, justicia, justicia" (ABC: Justice, Justice, Justice), as a means of pressuring authorities to criminally prosecute those responsible for the June 5, 2009, fire, which also left another 80 youngsters injured.
Dissatisfied with how the Mexican justice system has responded to the tragedy and the lack of arrests of senior officials, the parents have demanded for the past two years that authorities make progress in the investigation and stop protecting those responsible.
The government of the northwestern state of Sonora awarded a concession to run the ABC daycare, located in the city of Hermosillo, to people with ties to their political supporters and they did not comply with legally required safety measures.
The parents cite former Sonora Gov. Eduardo Bours, who has disappeared from the public scene since leaving his post at the end of 2010; the head of the Mexican Social Security Institute, or IMSS, Daniel Karam; and his predecessor, Juan Molinar Horcasitas; as among those responsible for the tragedy.
Several activities and events have been scheduled to mark the second anniversary of the deadly blaze, including the screening of the documentary.
The fire began in a warehouse belonging to the Sonora state government and spread to the daycare, packed with more than 100 children at the time.
The investigation showed a range of safety violations, including substandard emergency exits, a lack of fire extinguishers, defective smoke detectors and a ceiling made of flammable materials.
Several low-level government officials were fired over the tragedy and the IMSS delegate in Sonora, Arturo Leyva Lizarraga, was detained in the case early last month.
Private individuals under contract with the IMSS owned and operated the daycare and repeatedly ignored recommendations by that entity to address safety concerns.
Critics say IMSS contracts to run day care centers are routinely awarded to people with political connections.