The mexican market La Merced is looking for answers after the great fire of Christmas

The nave of the market of La Merced, located in the historic center of Mexico City, still smells like burnt. The second biggest place for the sale of food in th

The mexican market La Merced is looking for answers after the great fire of Christmas

The nave of the market of La Merced, located in the historic center of Mexico City, still smells like burnt. The second biggest place for the sale of food in the capital, behind only the huge central de abastos Iztapalapa, suffered a huge fire on the 24th of December. The incident occurred while the tenants of this market, with more than 60 years of history, preparing the Christmas dinners with their families in their homes. The fire consumed the structure, left a toll of two dead, several injured and devastated more than 600 local of the 5,000 existing. Were affected 2.641 workers, according to the authorities of the capital.

This Friday the head of government, Claudia Sheimbaun, has called for those affected in the Centro Cultural Venustiano Carranza informing them of the developments of the case after more than two weeks of silence. Among the measures announced is the demolition total of the damaged ship, which will be rebuilt; the relocation of tenants to tents that will be out of the market until at least July, and unemployment compensation of 15,000 pesos yearly, around 80 pesos a day (four dollars).

By The Mercy spend more than 150,000 visitors a day. Generate the month something more than 205 million pesos, according to data presented at the conference this Friday. This iconic venue is part of the ideology of cultural of the City of Mexico. An area that survives the gentrification every time more present in the neighborhoods of the capital.


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Casto Domínguez, owner of one of the hundreds of fruit stands parched, lives in Ecatepec, in the neighboring State of Mexico. Sitting in the nave during the meeting convened. Though he has few expectations, Domínguez, dress with hat and cowboy boots that are reminiscent of the wild west, explains that when he saw the images of fire I couldn't believe it. “I grabbed a bottle of mezcal, and I swallowed whole”, says while making a gesture of gobble. At age 60, it is 40 in the market, and has seen how their belongings are reduced to ashes in four fires earlier, the most recent in 2013. The most serious event happened in 1988, where there were 60 dead and 65 wounded after the outbreak of a put fireworks in the interior of the enclosure. “I don't think we have concrete answers right now but oh well, already having the meeting is a step. The previous administration after seven years of the fire of 2013 has not appeared here,” she laments.

Hundreds of families will start their march for the appointment of the twelve. The arrival, the apparent joy and applause to Sheimbaun evaporate after the first minute of silence for the deceased. With the announcement of the measures, in spite of the unanimous opinion that celebrates the good will of the Government, come also the disappointments.

The proposal to relocate the workers in tents outside of the market is not well received by the majority. The idea of losing their local small for more than six months, it binds to compete with the street commerce so feared in the area. “They are the owners of the street, so we will have to pay rent. In addition there is a lot of risk out there,” says Mary Santiago Sanchez, a 41-year-old and owner of a local product esoteric that it is still standing thanks to the solidarity of their most loyal customers. The mayor of Venustiano Carranza, Julio Cesar Moreno, believes that the most important thing is to “safeguard the physical integrity of all the tenants”. Something that experts who have inspected the area can not be guaranteed. At the risk of collapse, the eviction and demolition of the infrastructure affected is imminent. “If we are at clear risk that we're going. I say, we want to work, wherever. To me it has seemed to me wrong that we have explained. At least we have heard something that has made other governments”, argues Eugenia Vegas, the owner of a local fruit and vegetable destroyed.

Another of the measures announced has been the unemployment insurance for survivors of 2,500 pesos per month (us $ 130) for one semester. “With this alms I have not to the transportation and the meal of the day. They take advantage of that we are peaceful people”, explains indignantly Dominguez, who foresaw hours before the lack of acceptable answers.

Sheinbaum has asked for a week to begin the work of demolition. Despite the apparent disappointment of the affected traders, the only fact of being able to engage in a dialogue with the head of government gives hope to workers that, from night to morning, have been without resources to bring the bread home. The few or few responses, have been overshadowed by the political will of a Government that has not left side as previous administrations. Jaime Hernandez, who has not been removed, the apron or to go to the meeting, what is clear: “we See the disposal, which is important, but if the operational part does not do the same this will not do anything”. Facts in the shortest possible time. Is the message unanimous.

Date Of Update: 11 January 2020, 02:00