Mexico City – A Mexican former government official was arrested on homicide, abuse of authority and criminal negligence charges in a 2009 daycare center fire that killed 49 young children and left dozens of others injured, officials said.
Delia Irene Botello Amante, former regional coordinator of daycare centers for the IMSS social services agency, was arrested Thursday in the northwestern border city of Nogales, the federal Attorney General's Office said in a statement.
Prior to the tragedy, the former official had signed off on an inspection report that gave the ABC facility the green light to operate.
The suspect was taken to a jail in Hermosillo, capital of the northern state of Sonora, while awaiting a judge's ruling on whether or not she will stand trial.
The June 5, 2009, fire in Hermosillo began at a state government warehouse and spread to the adjacent daycare center.
The investigation into the tragedy revealed several code violations, including inadequately designed emergency doors, lack of fire extinguishers, defective smoke detectors and a celling made of flammable materials.
Authorities have detained several suspects but no one has yet been sentenced in the case and others have been released from custody.
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 daycare centers are routinely awarded to people with political connections.