Mexican Supreme Court Upholds Convictions In Day Care Fire, Reduces Sentences
Nearly 12 years after a day care fire that left 49 children dead in the Sonoran capital Hermosillo, Mexico’s Supreme Court confirmed Wednesday that 22 people are responsible for the tragedy. But family members of the victims say the ruling is far from delivering justice.
The court unanimously upheld the convictions of 19 people responsible for the June 5, 2009, ABC day care fire that left 49 infants dead and dozens of others with lifelong injuries. It also ruled that three women who had previously been acquitted are also guilty of criminal negligence in the case.
All 22 will be sentenced to no less than four years in prison by an Hermosillo court. But the Supreme Court ruled that the 19 previously convicted will have their sentences of 14 to 29 years reduced.
"For my clients, it's a feeling of frustration and powerlessness," said Gabriel Alvarado, lawyer for families of several of the victims. "They have been failed, not only the families, but our society as a whole."
He said the reduced sentences as disappointing, especially in the context of Mexico's high rates of impunity. Families are also upset that it took more than three years for the court to issue its ruling. They now face additional uncertainty while they await the new sentencing hearings.
With the 12th anniversary of the tragedy just over a week away, many feel the children and their families have yet to truly receive justice.