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Mexico: Adequate relief and reconstruction needed!

    Friday, September 29, 2017 - 10:34

    Photo: Amnesty International Mexico

    Download a PDF of UA 224/17 Mexico

    PDF icon224 Mexico.pdf


    A devastating earthquake hit Mexico on 19 September. Hundreds of people have died, thousands have been made homeless, and essential services have been compromised in various locations. Mexican authorities must ensure that relief and reconstruction efforts safeguard human rights without discrimination.

    On 19 September, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake occurred in Mexico, seriously impacting vast portions of the country, especially Mexico City and the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Morelos, Oaxaca, and Puebla. More than 300 people have died, and thousands have lost their homes and property. The Mexican government implemented survivor rescue and emergency care actions with participation of both civil and military personnel and with the support of the international community. Across the country, both Mexican and migrant people joined extraordinary efforts to save lives and help the victims.

    However, several reports have emerged in the days following the earthquake of poor coordination among authorities, illegal commandeering of food and other necessities meant for survivors, and insufficient aid delivered to many devastated areas, especially in small impoverished communities. Media reports state that expert’s preliminary assessments suggest that some of the collapsed structures might have been in breach of building regulations. The devastation caused by the 19 September earthquake only adds to the destruction caused by an earlier earthquake that occurred on 7 September. The previous earthquake had an 8.2 magnitude and affected southern Mexico, including Chiapas and Oaxaca states. In both earthquakes, more than 150 thousand households were affected and at least 250 thousand people have been made homeless. Official documents about risk propensity and prevention have not been made public. 

    Please send a letter and/or email without delay.

    * Start with Dear Mr. President and a sentence about yourself to make your message unique.

    * Call on the authorities to ensure that reconstruction and relief efforts safeguard human rights and are delivered on a non-discriminatory basis, considering cultural and gender specific requirements of those affected.

    * Urge them to ensure that people who have been rendered homeless are provided with safe and adequate housing options and access to essential services on an urgent basis.

    * Call on them to carry out a prompt, full and impartial investigation into allegations of defective or poorly maintained buildings, including the responsibility of public servants in charge of building authorizations and supervisions.

    * Urge them to guarantee access to relevant information regarding communities’ safety, including the Mexico City Risk Atlas and similar documents from other states, in an accessible and timely manner.


    Address your messages to:


    President of Mexico

    Enrique Peña Nieto    

    Residencia oficial de Los Pinos

    Molino del Rey s/n, Del. Miguel Hidalgo

    Col. San Miguel Chapultepec

    Ciudad de México,

    México, C.P. 11850


    Salutation:       Dear Mr President / Señor Presidente


    President of the 53rd Ordinary meeting of the National Governors’ Conference

    Miguel Ángel Mancera Espinosa

    Montecito #38 piso 22 oficina 30, Col. Nápoles, Deleg. Benito Juárez, en la Ciudad de México, México, C.P. 03810

    Twitter:             @CONAGO_oficial


    Salutation:        Dear Mr President / Señor Presidente


    Please send copy to:


    Amnesty International Mexico

    Luz Saviñon 519

    Col. Del Valle, Del. Benito Juárez

    Ciudad de México,

    México, C.P. 03100



    His Excellency

    Dionisio Arturo Pérez-Jácome Friscione

    Ambassador for Mexico

    45 O'Connor Street, Suites 1000 & 1030

    Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A4

    Fax:                 1 (613) 235-9123




    After an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in 1985 devastated huge portions of Mexico City and compromising basic infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, roads and the media, stricter construction standards were adopted. The collapse of public buildings revealed inadmissible defects and serious cases of corruption. There were no serious official investigations into what happened and those responsible enjoyed impunity. Federal law establishes the creation of a National Risk Atlas, and called on states and Mexico City to develop similar mechanisms. Nevertheless, it has been a common practice not to publish such information even though it could improve urban planning, citizen monitoring of the construction industry and megaprojects, and the evaluation of public policies. Mexico has robust access to information legislation that would allow citizens to access the risk atlases.

    On 7 September 2017, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake impacted southern Mexico and Central America, with an estimated death toll of 100 people. In Mexico, thousands of buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged.


    If you wish to receive updates on this case, email In the subject line, write “Keep me updated on UA 224/17 "Mexico".


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