By KELIN DILLON
Just days after the first year anniversary of Mexico City’s deadly Line 12 Metro accident, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has filed a civil suit against Norwegian company DNV for their third-party investigation into the causes of the lethal tragedy – a report which placed the blame for the crash on shoddy construction and tanked Line 12 builders Grupo Carso’s stock by 3.14 billion pesos following its release last June.
Beyond construction failures, the DNV report – which was compiled after extensive interviews with metro personnel ranging from directors, coordinators, train operators and institutional security personnel – likewise revealed repeated errors and omissions made under the administrations of Mexico City mayors, including Marcelo Ebrard, Miguel Mancera and Sheinbaum herself, that contributed to the May 3, 2021, crash.
“DNV is the independent expert in risk management and quality assurance, operating in more than 100 countries and founded in Norway in 1864. It is a world-leading company and specialist in failure analysis and investigation, and in certification and testing services,” said Sheinbaum upon the report’s release in June 2021. “”We appreciate the professionalism of the DNV company and its independence.”
In the months since, Sheinbaum seems to have changed her tune; while the DNV was expected to release a public follow-up report between August and September 2021, that never occurred, though Sheinbaum purportedly received – and disagreed with – the DNV’s secondary analysis. Coupled with recent drama between DNV lawyer Héctor Salomón Galindo, Sheinbaum and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Sheinbaum has now accused the DMV of being aligned with opposition parties to her National Regeneration Movement (Morena) and using a falsified report for “political purposes.”
“Imagine that you make an appointment with the doctor, he listens to you, tests you, tells you that you have an incurable disease … and you sue him because you didn’t like the diagnosis! This absurdity is what Claudia Sheinbaum is doing with the expert opinion on the Line 12 tragedy,” said writer F. Bartolomé in his column for daily Mexican newspaper Reforma.
“Sheinbaum intends to discredit the company that she herself hired with the story that the DNV is aligned with the opposition to hit her,” continued Bartolomé. “In fact, there is a rumor that Andrés Lajous, the secretary of mobility, and Myriam Urzúa, head of Civil Protection, tried to convince the people of DNV to modify the conclusions of their report, deleting the parts that blamed the Mexico City government.”
While the details of Sheinbaum’s pending lawsuit have yet to be revealed, taking on the DNV in court will be no easy feat. The Norwegian firm is the world’s largest classification firm and possesses more than 500,000 clients with footholds in 100 countries across the world.
“With this maneuver of wanting to sue the DNV, Claudia Sheinbaum’s credibility collapsed worse than Line 12 itself,” concluded Bartolomé.