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Episode 67

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Translation – It’s not our Problem

Translated by: Patrick Moseley.

[Daniel Alarcón, host]: Hey ambulantes! Our live shows are coming up. Did you get your tickets? The tickets for Washington are sold out, but there’s still some left for the show in New York on Thursday, September 27. We’ll have stories from Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador and the US. Stories about hidden identities, strange legacies, obscene machines, and more. We promise you’ll have a great time. The show is fully bilingual and accessible for people who don’t speak Spanish. To get your tickets for the New York show go to radioambulante.org/envivo. Thank you and see you there.

[Boy]: We were doing a drill before and as soon as we went inside the ground started shaking.

[Girl]: Then the alarms started going off and I got up and I was scared.

[Boy]: All of the houses fell in on themselves and uh… Everything was dust.

[Boy]: When it was over the teacher told us… not to worry, that our parents were coming soon.

[Boy]: I was scared… We were all running.

[Boy]: Some people were panicking… everyone was crying.

[Girl]: That same day they had sent out a message saying that the school’s stairs had broken away from the building 15 centimeters.

[Daniel Alarcón]: Welcome to Radio Ambulante from NPR, I’m Daniel Alarcón.

These Mexican children are talking about what they experienced in their schools last year, September 19th, 2017, when at around one in the afternoon…

(NEWS SOUNDBITE)

[Reporter]: Right now you can feel an earthquake. The ground is shaking I’m going to get up and evacuate.

[Reporter]: Right now it’s shaking. It’s shaking pretty hard…

[Daniel]: A magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Mexico City.

(NEWS SOUNDBITE)

[Reporter]: Dozens are dead and hundreds of buildings are destroyed.  Rescue workers are working tirelessly to find survivors trapped within the mountains of rubble.

[Daniel]: The September 19th earthquake plus another 12 days earlier in the south of the countrytotaled almost 500 deaths, according to official figures. More than 250 thousand people were left homeless. And according to government estimates, 12 million people were affected.

And of course, among those affected were children, like the ones we heard at the start of episode, who were in school, far from their homes.

(NEWS SOUNDBITE)

[Reporter]: Panic took hold of the children as well as the parents.

[Father]: I was very afraid. We were coming in our car they told us a building had fallen, a school, but I never thought it was this one.

[Student]: A lot of us managed to get out of the middle school but we need people to help.

[Daniel]: Maybe you’ll recall the case of Enrique Rébsamen School in Mexico City. It was covered by the media all over the world. Due to irregularities in its construction, one of the school’s two buildings collapsed. It was a building where the principal had built an addition to her house.  The lower floors couldn’t handle the weight and ended up caving in. More than twenty people died, almost all of them children.

According to figures from the Secretary of Public Education, there were nearly 20,000 schools throughout the country that sustained some kind of damage after the two earthquakes.

In order to guarantee the student’s safety, they had to suspend classes in the affected schools: in some cases for a month, in others it was up to January 2018.

But Mexican children need to get an education.  And they need schools for that. So, who was going to be responsible for rebuilding the schools? Who was going to look out for the safety of those projects?

Two journalists…

[Nadia Sanders]: My name is Nadia Sanders. I’m a journalist.

[Irene Larraz]: My name is Irene Larraz. I’m a Spanish journalist based out of Mexico City.

And together they set out to get to the bottom of…

[Nadia]: The project to rebuild the schools in the central region of the country after the September 19th earthquake.

[Daniel]: And what they found is that it in Mexico is not always to easy to know who is in charge.

Our producer David Trujillo continues the story.

[David Trujillo]: Nadia and Irene’s interest in this story began a few days after the earthquake. They were looking for official information about the rebuilding efforts and while they were looking over a government website called Fuerza Mexico, they saw something that caught their attention.

[Nadia]: We saw that they weren’t being entirely clear. It was very strange because it just said which schools were able to open their doors again, but it didn’t tell us which schools were still in bad conditions.

[David]: And that made them curious. So they sent several information requests to different organizations. None of them responded with the information they needed, but one did tell them that it was under the purview of the Secretary of Public Education [SEP, by its initials in Spanish ]. So, they sent a request, but the answer was the same…

[Nadia]: “The SEP is not the relevant authority due to decentralization and the education reform and now it is the responsibility of the city government.” And we couldn’t believe it.

We said: “You’ve got to be kidding. What do you mean ‘not the relevant authority.’ What are you talking about!”

[David]:  Local authorities were tossing the ball to federal authorities and vice versa.

A week after the earthquake, Aurelio Nuño, the Secretary of Education at the time, released a public report on the process of rebuilding the schools and resuming classes.

(VIDEO SOUNDBITE)

[Aurelio Nuño]: We are checking each of the schools. We are doing it with qualified personnel who are issuing certificates of structural integrity to the buildings so that we can get back to school.

[David]:  He warned that it would be a slow process.

(VIDEO SOUNDBITE)

[Aurelio Nuño]: We’ve said all along that it’s a process that is going to take between two and three weeks, but we have to do it right. On top of that we have to do it in a way that conforms to the law and do it with qualified personnel.

[David]: He even calculated the cost of the reconstruction. A little more than 680 million dollars.

I know numbers can be a little confusing but the truth is they’re very important to this story. So here they are: in that report Nuño said that there were nearly 13,000 schools with some kind of damage, of which 577 had to be rebuilt entirely. He also said, very optimistically, that more than 70,000 schools throughout the country had already begun classes after being assessed by experts.

Irene and Nadia wanted to verify what Nuño was saying. So they visited several schools in Mexico City and in some of the states affected, which, yes, had resumed classes. But they were surprised to see that they had not gone back in the way they had imagined.

[Nadia]: A lot of them were relocated, so to speak, to a building or space near the school. There were cases in which, for example, if the borough had a gym or a park or a field for sports nearby and they could put temporary classrooms there, well, they did.

[David]: In some cases, the temporary classrooms provided by the government were trailers adapted to be classrooms. In others, they were prefabricated classrooms that ended up being more costly and more fragile than the ordinary rooms. And there were even children returning to buildings with visible damage.

[Nadia]: The data doesn’t match up reality. That’s what we found. When you go to where the facts are, you say: “Oh man, this… this doesn’t add up. This isn’t how they say it is.”

[David]: Because on top of that, in terms of money, the figures grew considerably in a short period of time. Remember when we said they needed nearly 680 million dollars to rebuild the schools? Well, in less than two weeks, that number grew to a billion dollars. The budget for the schools was the second largest after housing and ended up becoming the largest… but they didn’t even have clear plans to rebuild.

Irene and Nadia wanted to understand why, compared to other buildings, schools were so badly damaged after the earthquake. In Mexico City alone, for example, 65% of basic education schools pre-school, elementary and middle school were affected.

So they contacted Francisco Garcia to understand better. Francisco is the president of the Mexican Society of Structural Engineering, an association of private citizens, not connected to the government, that came together voluntarily right after to earthquake to help evaluate the condition of the damaged buildings.

They interviewed him on the front patio of the Society’s headquarters.

[Francisco García]: Schools are normally rather short buildings. This earthquake was especially damaging to structures that were between three and seven stories high.

[David]: Since the epicenter was relatively close to Mexico City, more shock waves hit in a shorter period of time. Those kinds of waves affect shorter buildings with fewer floors more intensely.

But according to Francisco, that wasn’t the only reason. You also have to keep in mind…

[Nadia]: The lack of maintenance in the schools. We’re talking about schools that are 40, 50 years old.

[David]: That means that a lot of the school buildings or groups of school buildings had not been reinforced. Some schools were not even reinforced after the earthquake in 1985.

Since the schools’ vulnerability was evident, children’s parents worried. They were upset that the authorities were presenting these short-term solutions as big accomplishments when they still hadn’t provided any real solutions.

[Nadia]: And they said: “It looks like this school has to be rebuilt” or “It has to be evaluated” or “Someone has to come and re-do this wall. How are they saying my child is  going to be OK now, when this staircase is detached.”

[David]: In Mexico City, the task of assessing the schools was the responsibility of the Secretary of Public Education, in other words, it went directly to the federal government. That allowed them to make the decision to reopen a school or rebuild it. But since people had doubts about these assessments, Irene and Nadia started looking into what that process was like.

It turns out that after being evaluated, each school was given a document with a rating that divided them into color-coded risk categories. Severe, moderate or minor. Irene explains it better:

[Irene]: For the public, they made the ratings like a stoplight. Red was for schools that needed to be rebuilt entirely, yellow for those that had partial damages and green for those that could resume their activities as normal.

[David]: And this kind of rating is generally given by a certified professional known as a Director Responsable de Obra or DRO, a certified project supervisor. And these DROs are coordinated by a different secretary, the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing.

A DRO is someone who has general knowledge of facilities, urban development and structures, etc. They are not necessarily experts in seismic engineering.

But, as Francisco Garcia explains it, according to building regulations in Mexico City, which are the most complete and organized regulations in the country, and which are followed throughout the Republic of Mexico…

[Francisco]: When a building is of greater importance such as schools, hospitals, fire departments, important archives, museums they require a corresponsable en seguridad estructural, or a co-supervisor in structural safety, to support the DRO supervising the project.

[David]: In other words, an expert in this kind of seismic engineering who accompanies the DRO.

Schools are buildings that are classified as very important under the law. Not just because education is a fundamental public service, or because children are a vulnerable population, but also because they can serve as emergency shelters and collection centers after a natural disaster. That’s why the law is clear: These structured must be assessed by an expert along with the DRO…

[Nadia]: It’s like a general physician. Let’s say you have, I don’t know, pneumonia, and you’re seen by a general physician, but you aren’t seen by a specialist in the illness you have that needs to be assessed.

[David]: But in Mexico City at the time, there were only about 100 certified specialists working on the nearly 2,000 damaged schools. Remember how secretary Nuño said the assessments were going to take between two and three weeks? Well in reality it was going to take much longer, because evidently it was impossible to handle the number of affected schools.

So the National Institute of Education Infrastructure, INIFED in Spanish, which was in charge of these assessments, had to bolster itself with support from other entities that sent more DROs. They had to resolve the emergency as soon as possible and support themselves with what they had on hand.

But that brought along some problems…

In March, six months after the earthquake, Irene and Nadia heard about the case of Leonismo Internacional, in Mexico City. It’s a school that divides its buildings between a grade school and high school.

It seems that more than the earthquake itself, it ended up being affected by the authority’s poor organization.

[Irene]: When we went to visit the school, uh, the principal, like in many schools, wouldn’t let us in and told us that neither the principals nor the teachers could give interviews without the SEP’s permission.

[David]:]: The Secretary of Public Education.

[Irene]: But, uh, the principal made, made the gesture of inviting one of the parents, she called her herself.

[Carmen Ordax]: My name is Carmen Ordax, my daughter goes to the Leonismo Internacional school. My daughter is 7 years old. She’s going into third grade and last year, when she was in second ‘B’, was the earthquake.

[David]: Carmen couldn’t go get her daughter that day because she wasn’t nearby. Her dad picked her up. But she learned that the anguish they experienced was intense.

[Carmen]: For example, my daughter said to me: “We were all OK, mom, until the mommies and daddies came and were nervous.”

[David]: Carmen says that some parents called the police saying that they weren’t letting the children leave, even though in reality what they were doing at the school was keeping strangers from picking up the children… Others said they smelled gas.

[Carmen]: They were really concerned. Some parents had very bad experiences because there were actually a lot of buildings in the neighborhood that suffered a lot of damage and, well, that made them more nervous when they went to the school.

[David]: It was understandable. There were stories about schools that had fallen in on themselves, and with the possibility of an aftershock at any moment, all they wanted was to get their children out of the building.  Fortunately, all the students left unharmed and none of the three buildings collapsed.

But since they could see cracks in the walls, the dean asked the College of Civil Engineers to make an assessment. The next day they sent an engineer. But it wasn’t a DRO or an expert in structural safety. The College of Civil Engineers is an association of private citizens, meaning it’s not a part of the government. Not the same non-governmental organization of engineers we mentioned a few minutes ago, but another one.

I think that that this is a good indication of the institutional disorder that marked the reconstruction effort.

When this engineer assessed the facilities…

[Irene]: He deemed the structure to be sound and that there was no visible damage, so he delivered a green rating. Now the parents were happy, they were thinking about resuming classes. The principals were too; specifically the principal.

[Carmen]: And then the Secretary of Education comes out and says that not just any architect can make an assessment, but that it has to be a DRO. So our wonderful green rating was no longer valid. We needed to wait for a DRO.

[David]: But remember that Leonismo Internacional shares half of its buildings with the other school… Well, a DRO had actually been to that school.

[Irene]: And this DRO submitted a yellow rating that implied that it had partial damages and needed a more complete assessment.

[David]: In late October, the Secretary of Education had authorized the partial return to classes at Leonismo International. That meant children were studying in the two buildings that were fine. The other one remained closed.

So then a new DRO came to evaluate it. He said he saw no danger of imminent collapse…

[Carmen]: But there was an area where it was sinking, there were cracks in some of the building components… A lot of things aren’t right. I’m going to rate it red until a more adequate assessment is conducted.

[David]: In other words, in the course of a month, they had received all three possible ratings. Green, yellow and red. Nothing was clear about the situation at the school.

[Daniel]: Was it in good condition?

It depends on who does the assessment.

Were there partial damages?

Maybe.

Did it need to be rebuilt entirely?

According to some, yes, to others, no.

We’ll be back after a break.

[MIDROLL]

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[Daniel]: Ambulantes, we want to recommend another NPR podcast. It’s called Alt Latino, with Felix Contreras. This week, Felix has Alejandro Escobedo as a guest, a pioneer of Latin punk. He’ll be talking about his new album, The Crossing, which deals with  immigration issues, American identity, with sometimes tough and always loud music. Look for Alt Latino on the NPR One app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

[Daniel]: We want to recommend another podcast you might like. It’s the TED en Español podcast. Each episode they invite you to consider the great questions and provocative ideas of our times, like: what is the connection between love and math? or, will AI replace us in our jobs? or, can entrepreneurs improve our health and education? Each episode presents a TED talk from one of the preeminent Spanish-speaking leaders and creators in the world. With the help of Gerry Garbulsky, curator of TED en Español, you can explore the constellation of ideas in our language. You can find all episodes on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

[Daniel]: We’re back with Radio Ambulante. I’m Daniel Alarcón.

Before the break, we were looking at the case of Leonismo Internacional School in Mexico City, which received one assessment after another from different authorities, without getting a clear sense of whether or not its buildings were safe. It was a very complicated situation for parents that had to leave their children in the care of a school without knowing for certain if it was safe.

David Trujillo continues the story.

[David]: The school’s parent’s association was desperate. There wasn’t enough space in the classrooms that were in good condition to match the number of children. After receiving the red rating, they asked the local government for help, which gave them some tents to put on the patio and use as classrooms until it was safe to go back inside the building.

But no one told them how long it would be like that or what the action plan was. They were in a seemingly endless maze of bureaucracy. From the Commission for Reconstruction they went to the Mexico City Local Physical Education Infrastructure Institute; then to the Construction Safety Institute; then to the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing.

[Carmen]: Well, each institution had to make their own assessment. So you really are left with the feeling that they are not communicating with one another.

[David]: It really seems ridiculous, but in the following months they continued to assess the school and got a rating each time it . In total, there were ten.

[Carmen]: That I’m aware of. Since I live very close to the school, well, every time there was an assessment, they called me so I could come and explain from the beginning what had happened. I would explain to them that they didn’t need to do any more assessments.

[David]: But that’s not how it went… It was like a cycle repeating itself over and over and over. Even though the ratings were now always red and the DROs agreed saying that the best course of action was to demolish the building and rebuild it.

But they didn’t give them any dates or explain how they were going to do it or how much it was going to cost… Nothing. So Carmen and the other parents started sending letters to all of the institutions that were involved in some way…

[Carmen]: Well, with everything… Everything that had happened with the dates, visits and everything, and still they sent someone else again to inspect the building to see if it was true that the building had to go.

[David]: When Irene and Nadia spoke with Carmen, six months after the earthquake, children were still going to class in tents. They complained about the heat, the rain, the noise… They hadn’t even set up mobile classrooms to improve conditions a little. The reason they gave was that they were busy with other schools.

So, Irene and Nadia looked into what the government had said in those six month after the earthquake. They wanted to see if Leonismo Internacional was an isolated case or an example of a systematic problem.

In December, three months after the earthquake, Secretary Aurelio Nuño resigned from his position to start campaigning for the ruling-party’s presidential candidate. He was replaced by Otto Granados.

Let’s remember that the first figure that was announced said that there were nearly 13,000 affected schools. Later, the Secretary published a new report, but without any big announcement or press conference…

[Nadia]: They reported a new figure of nearly 20,000 affected schools in total throughout the country.

[David]: That report was issued on December 28th, and it seemed reasonable: as they conducted more assessments, they realized that there were more affected buildings. What seemed strange to Nadia and Irene was that now there were fewer schools that needed to be completely demolished and rebuilt in the country. In the first announcement in late September, it was said there were nearly 600. But three months later, without having started a single construction project and without any explanation, they were talking about a number that was much smaller: barely 210.

I mean, had these schools magically fixed themselves? On their own?

That wasn’t all that was surprising. In a document from the Secretary of Urban Development and Housing which coordinated the DROs dated in October, a month after the earthquake, it said that in Mexico City there were more than 200 schools that had sustained severe damage and needed to be totally rebuilt. But now in December, the Secretary of Education was saying…

[Irene]: That only nine needed to be rebuilt.

[David]: Why all the inconsistency? Where were the rest of the schools that supposedly needed to be demolished because they presented a danger to the children?

They went over the list of schools with yellow ratings, in other words, schools that required partial repairs, or green, which had minor or no damage. There they saw that several schools ratings had changed multiple times. And Leonismo Internacional, which had had more than ten different ratings, had gone six months without appearing in any of the reconstruction plans.

The partial truths didn’t stop in 2018. In March, for example, the same month that Nadia and Irene learned about the Leonismo case, Secretary Granados announced that 99.9% of the students at affected schools were now back in classes.

[Irene]: What we were reporting on the ground was that maybe they were going class but only once a week. In some cases the school day was cut in half. There were students going to school in tents or in very, very provisional and precarious places. So that percentage was a kind of mockery of these students who didn’t have access to a normal school schedule.

[David]: June of 2018. Nine months had gone by since the earthquake and a new concern was emerging for Irene and Nadia: If there were still ruined schools after so much time, how were those billions of dollars spent?

[Nadia]: We started looking into the contracts… into INIFED’s expenditures.

[David]: INIFED, or the National Institute for Physical Education Infrastructure. The entity in charge of demolishing and rebuilding the schools in Mexico City.

[Nadia]: And we saw that they were completely under-spending. Or there were schools that didn’t have a contract, but where work was being done. And there, the architect told us: “No, well, first they told us they were going to demolish it. Then they said they weren’t. Then they told us we just need to renovate and reinforce it.” And I said: “You’re kidding, no way.”

[David]: So they checked CompraNet, the government’s own public portal where you can look up all of their building projects, purchases, leases, etc. There they realized that up until May 31st of 2018 there had only been about 900 contracts and they hadn’t even used 10% of the budget to rebuild the schools.

And that wasn’t all. The law says that in emergencies the government can hire directly, without having to do any kind of public bidding. Even though the SEP insisted that throughout the process they had preferred open and public bidding, in which the provider that most nearly met their needs won the bid, according to CompraNet…

[Irene]: 93% of the contracts were awarded directly. They hadn’t had a single public bid.

[David]: In other words, they were handing out these contracts to companies at their own discretion. And even though the official state of emergency ended in March, in the following two months they had given out another 80 direct contracts.

[Irene]: In other words, all of the transparency in the process is lost in terms of what companies are privileged over others.

[David]: Irene and Nadia wanted to understand what was going on behind all of this institutional disarray and if that seeming corruption in the rebuilding processes was real in the months following the earthquake. They went to INIFED, the National Institute for Physical Education Infrastructure. This Institute gives instructions to ensure that schools are built in a structurally sound way all over the country.

This is INIFED’s spokesperson at the time, Luis Fernando Domínguez:

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Luis Fernando Domínguez]: I would start by saying that no one, no government body in any country in the world is completely prepared for a natural disaster of this magnitude.

[David]: Nadia says that in this interview they conceded a lot.

[Nadia]: They recognize the level of damage…

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Luis Fernando]: Where talking that in Mexico City, there are more than 1,800 schools that were affected to some degree.

[Nadia]: Affected to some degree?

[Luis Fernando]: That’s correct. From minor damage, severe or moderate damage, or very severe damage.

[Nadia]: They recognize that there are not enough experts in structural safety…

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Luis Fernando]: In Mexico City there are very few that are actually accredited.

[Nadia]: They recognize that a lot of schools still need maintenance…

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Luis Fernando]: Of course educational facilities need maintenance. There are too many and the budget at times has been limited.

[David]: On top of that, as we saw in the case of Leonismo International, they admitted they conducted additional assessments of schools after they had already been given an initial rating.

So, what was the point of the first official ratings? Who was right? According to Luis Fernando, INIFED contracted structural engineers from UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, to validate some not all of the ratings and decide if they were correct or not.

He added that thanks to INIFED’s efforts, all schools now had structural integrity ratings and the students weren’t at risk…

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Luis Fernando]: If a child is in an education facility, that means the facility is habitable, functional and meets the necessary standards of structural safety.

[Irene]: The problem is that nine months after the earthquake, we realized that the only ratings that counted as a final diagnostic were those from the DROs.

[David]: In other words, they continued without being assessed by the aforementioned experts.

[David]: On July 20th, 2018, Irene met with Carmen, the mother of one of the children at Leonismo Internacional who we met earlier in this story. They went to the school to see how it was, but they couldn’t go in because the children were on break. From the outside, they couldn’t see the damages, but Carmen told her that everything was still the same… Yes, ten months had passed since the earthquake and they were mostly likely going to start classes in the same tents…

[Carmen]: My daughter doesn’t miss school much but there are some parents who, with the temperatures as extreme as it gets, do stop bringing their kids because of how uncomfortable it is.

[David]: When it rains, the floor in the tent gets wet and when it’s hot out, they’re like ovens. A few months back, in April, one of the tents fell in because a strong bout of hail. Luckily, they were on break for Holy Week and the children weren’t there. But the weather isn’t the only thing that causes problems… There’s also a lot of noise.

But according to Carmen, it seemed like it didn’t matter anymore, as if the Secretary of Education and the government of Mexico City had set aside the compromise they had with these schools, the children and the parents.

[Carmen]: And what you read in the newspapers is: “This September all children will go back to their wonderful schools.” It’s not true [laughs]… We’re still in tents.

[David]: Other students can’t go back to their school…

[Carmen]: Maybe it’s not because of the damage to the school but because of the damage to the neighboring building, but since they can’t go back to school, they’re having classes somewhere else. And you don’t see that anywhere.

[David]: The good news from that day, July 20th, 2018, is that after months of hard work on the part of the parents, INIFED finally had taken over the case. They told them that the demolition was scheduled for July 23rd and that the rebuilding would be planned further down the road. But Carmen was skeptical.

[Carmen]: Not until I see that the building has been demolished or until I see a project in writing, not until I see a paper that really says something more than good intentions, will I finally believe it and I’m going to keep knocking on doors, going to meetings and doing everything that needs to be done.

[David]: The school building was demolished on July 23rd, but it still doesn’t have a date to begin reconstruction.

There are mothers and fathers like Carmen in many parts of the country who have been waiting for a solution for a year. Their children were victims of an earthquake that made them stop going to class for months, but now they continue to be the victims of the authorities’ incompetence, excessive bureaucratization and the State’s negligence.

So far, no public official has been sanctioned for this.

[Daniel]: The school year started on August 20th, 2018. But in Mexico City, eleven months after the earthquake, students from more than 50 schools had to start classes in temporary classrooms or other facilities. They still don’t have a date set to begin rebuilding.

Irene Larraz is a freelance journalist and Nadia Sanders works as an editor at the website mexico.com. Together they investigated the rebuilding of schools thanks to a grant from Connectas and the International Center for Journalists. On our site you can find links to more information about the grant and the articles Irene and Nadia wrote for Animal Político.

OK, but what is the situation like outside of Mexico City?

(INTERVIEW SOUNDBITE)

[Irene]: Which caused that in Jojutla, the State in a certain sense washed its hands of a lot of the projects to rebuild the schools.

[Carlos Brito]: If kids that are 3 to 5, or 6 to 11, to 12, aren’t a priority, then what the hell is a priority!

[Daniel]: On our website we’ve prepared a blog about the situation outside of the capital.

This episode was produced by David Trujillo and edited by Silvia Viñas, Camila Segura and me. The sound design and music are by Andrés Azpiri and Rémy Lozano. Our intern, Andra López Cruzado, did the fact-checking.

The rest of the Radio Ambulante team includes Jorge Caraballo, Patrick Moseley, Ana Prieto, Laura Rojas Aponte, Barbara Sawhill, Elsa Liliana Ulloa, and Luis Fernando Vargas. Our interns are Lisette Arévalo and Victoria Estrada. Carolina Guerrero is the CEO.

Radio Ambulante is produced and mixed on Hindenburg PRO.

We have a mailing list on WhatsApp and we would like you to be a part of it. Every week we send out a link to the episode so you won’t miss it and can share it easily with your contact list. If you want to join the list send a message to the number +57 322 9502192, and Jorge, our engagement editor, will add you. Again, the number is +57 322 9502192.

For more episodes and to learn more about this story, visit our webpage: radioambulante.org.

Radio Ambulante tells the stories of Latin America. I’m Daniel Alarcón. Thanks for listening.

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