26 September 2023

MEXICO: National Guard called in after Metro ‘events’

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More than 6,000 National Guard officers have been deployed to Metro stations around Mexico City, after what the city’s Mayor described as “a series of unusual events that sparked alarm”.

Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum said the heightened security presence would continue for a few months, but did not confirm exactly what the National Guard’s role would be, nor the specific reason for their deployment.

The announcement comes in the wake of an accident in which two trains collided, leaving one person dead and 106 injured.

Although Ms Sheinbaum insisted she would wait for the results of the investigation before making detailed comments, she implied that elements of the incident appeared suspicious.

She revealed that police had found a ‘black box’ event data recorder belonging to the Metro inside a van, suggesting it had been removed before the accident.

One hypothesis currently under investigation by the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office is that the crash was due to missing sections of copper cable in the Metro tunnels, which caused communication failures and a drop in the trains’ circulation speed.

The reason for the missing cable is unknown, although copper cables are frequently the target of theft to sell to recyclers.

“I don’t want to call it sabotage, but they are actions, moments and atypical events that are happening in the Metro,” Ms Sheinbaum said.

“We are not going to get ahead of ourselves because we have to respect the workers; the workers are the ones who operate the Metro every day, but we have to protect the public.”

Mexico City, 17 January 2023

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