Following a string of mishaps, the mayor of Mexico City declared on Thursday that 6,060 National Guard members would be stationed in the metro system.
Several technical issues in recent months may have been caused by “not usual,” according to mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
“Incidents have been happening recently that we categorize as not normal,” Sheinbaum said, adding that she had requested the National Guard members from the quasi-military to be sent, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had agreed.
Guard personnel will be stationed at subway stops “and some other facilities” in the transportation network, according to Sheinbaum, and they will remain there “for some months.”
She didn’t elaborate on how the Guard officers, mainly former soldiers assigned to law enforcement, might assist in containing an issue that seems to result from maintenance, design, or operational problems.
Sheinbaum, who is thought to be the most likely contender from López Obrador’s Morena party to follow him in the 2024 elections, has frequently been embarrassed by accidents on the city’s subway system.
Like the president, Sheinbaum often accuses conservatives of plotting against her when she experiences setbacks.
The most recent incident occurred on Saturday when two subway trains collided in a section between stations, resulting in one fatality and numerous injuries.
According to local media, the area of track had signaled issues in the past.
A portion of the elevated subway system collapsed in May 2021, killing 26 people and injuring up to 100 others.
Ten former officials have been charged with various forms of manslaughter, injury, and property damage; however, none have been sentenced to prison following an investigation that blamed the structural failure on design flaws.
Sabotage has never been identified as a contributing factor to issues with the subway; poor welding, a lack of maintenance, outdated electronic systems, the city’s frequent earthquakes, and soft soil conditions have all been cited as causes.
The city’s subway vehicles run on tires and rails, but Sheinbaum claimed there had been three “not normal” issues discovered on subway cars or tracks in the previous few days, including the breakdown of a tire “that had just been inspected.”
The Mexico City subway system comprises 226.5 kilometers (141 miles) of track and 195 stops.
Every day, it averages 4.6 million passengers.