Owner of Mexico City school where 26 died in 2017 earthquake is arrested – The Guardian

  • Authorities act on tip-off to arrest Monica García at restaurant
  • Experts: school fell under weight of floors without right support

Mexican police have arrested on manslaughter charges the owner of a school in Mexico City that collapsed during a devastating 2017 earthquake, killing 19 children and seven adults, authorities said on Saturday.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck central Mexico on 19 September 2017 killed 355 people in the capital and surrounding states.

The tragedy at the Enrique Rebsamen school became one of the most powerful symbols of the quake’s human cost.

Experts and witnesses told Reuters shortly after the quake that the school in southern Mexico City buckled under the weight of floors added over the years with scant steel support.

On Saturday Ernestina Godoy, attorney general of Mexico City, said officers had apprehended Monica García, the owner of the school, in a restaurant in the capital on Saturday morning after an anonymous tip-off.

“We arrested her,” Godoy told a news conference, adding “the crime is manslaughter” and noting that police searched dozens of houses over several months.

Authorities had issued a reward of five million pesos, or $262,000, for information leading to García’s capture.

García could not immediately be reached for comment.