Sunday, September 26, 2010


Twenty-five years and a week ago today, a massive earthquake shook Mexico City, devastating a metropolis constructed on the unstable substrate of a former lake. Old and new neighborhoods alike felt the effects; massive public housing projects built quickly, carelessly, and corruptly, simply collapsed. Many other buildings, also products of the city's exuberant development from 1946 onward, were unable to withstand the shaking. It was as if the facade of the Mexican Miracle itself crumbled away. Ultimately, some 10,000 people would lose their lives.

In the face of the disaster, residents united in rescue brigades to pull neighbors from the rubble. The overwhelming civic response stood in stark contrast to the ineptitude of the government, and the social organizations that emerged from the blossoming civil society were responsible for forcing the democratization of the city's politics.

In Colonia Roma, the quake felled both beautiful old buildings and cheaper, newer structures. Some of these half-toppled husks stand, their suspended decay a mute reminder that the tragedy tore holes in the social fabric that remain unpatched

Text of image #1 reads: Mass in memory of the victims of the earthquake 25 years ago... Come early to provide the name of your family member, friend or neighbor if you would like them to be named. We rely on your help.

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