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First arrest made for building collapses in Mexico City earthquake

Mexico City, Mexico — Arrests have already begun for those responsible for the collapse of buildings in Mexico’s September earthquakes.

The first arrest took place October 25 when Jamie Smith Rios was found co-responsible for installation processes during the construction of one of the buildings where two women became trapped and died. He is linked with construction of Residencial San José on Calle Zapata 56 located in the colony Portales Sur in the municipality of Benito Juárez, Mexico City.

On September 19, a third of the Residencial San José building collapsed after the 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the capital. Karla Santos and Matilde Téllez, 30 and 63 years old respectively, were killed when they were crushed to death.

The judge from the Court of Justice of Mexico City, ordered the arrest of Mr. Rios as a precautionary measure for four months while investigations continue.

However Miguel Ángel Mancera, head of the Government of Mexico City, warns that although the court has sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Rios in the collapse and deaths, he is not the only person related to the insufficient building of the apartment complex.

Ángel Mancera says that public ministry has found the pillars, beams, columns and foundation of the building to be of poor quality, which did not comply with current building standards.

Mancera said that Jaime Smith Ríos is not the only one being sought in relation to the collapse of the building and that different trails are being followed to located the others involved in the construction of the apartment complex.