The architect and civil engineer Jaime Smith Ríos will be prosecuted for the death of two women — in addition to an environmental crime — in a collapsed building in Mexico City after the earthquake of September 19. This is the first capture of the responsible for the defective construction of a building that collapsed because of the earthquake, although the authorities have anticipated that there will be several more.
A judge has determined that the architect will wait in prison for his trial to take place within four months. Smith Rios, 58 years old, faces homicide charges with eventual fraud and for the environmental crime of responsibility of responsible directors of work, the authorities have reported. The building was in the number 56 of Zapata Street and was less than five years old. In it lived 24 families who had occupied the apartments only nine months ago.
Among the failures found by the authorities in this property are "anomalies in the memory of calculation", which did not correspond to the structural calculations. The foundation also does not correspond to what was reported in the Soil Mechanics study. The building also had no steels and supports for building or with the constancy of structural safety.
The prosecutor of the capital, Edmundo Garrido, said there are still two orders of apprehension for this building. The local prosecutor's office has also mentioned that an investigation has been opened for each collapsed construction in which there have been fatal casualties.
The quake of magnitude 7.1 caused the collapse of 38 buildings and left more than 3,000 properties with serious damage in the capital. Around 24,000 people were cared for in different shelters from the days after the tragedy, according to official figures.