14 years after tragic day care fire, families and community commemorate and demand justice
On Monday, survivors of a day care fire, families of the children who died and members of the community came together in Hermosillo to mark the 14th anniversary of the tragedy. They held vigils, Mass and a march to demand justice.
"Monserrat Granados Perez."
"She shouldn't have died."
Thousands of people gathered in Hermosillo on June 5 chant as parents read the names of the 49 toddlers and infants —25 girls and 24 boys — who died in the Guarderia ABC fire in 2009. Dozens of other children — now teenagers — were left with lifelong injuries.
Those survivors were at the forefront of this year’s march, dressed in purple shirts, holding up banners and demanding justice for themselves and their classmates.
"Today marks 14 years since the greatest crime against Mexican children in the recent history of Mexico," Patricia Duarte, whose 3-year-old son Andres Alonso Garcia was killed in the fire, said to the crowd." Fourteen years of impunity."
Twenty-two people have been convicted and sentenced for their role in the tragedy. So far, not one has served time.
Duarte and others say they continue to fight to see the people whose negligence led to their children's deaths be held responsible.
They are also demanding the federal government implement policies that will guarantee that such a tragedy never happens again in Mexico. That includes better oversight of existing day care facilities and the creation of government run day care programs that to ensure that all children, regardless of his or her family's economic status, has access to quality care.
During a press conference Monday morning, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Human Rights Alejandro Encinas said the current administration is committed to justice and is working to punish those responsible for the tragedy. He said the government also hopes to provide all victims, survivors and their families with reparation payments by the end of this year.