208 years for Mexican expert over quake-collapsed school
July 15, 2021
MEXICO CITY - A judge sentenced a Mexican building expert to 208 years in prison Wednesday for signing off on defective remodeling work blamed in the collapse of school that killed 27 people during a 2017 earthquake.
It was the longest sentence yet handed down in relation to the magnitude 7.1 quake of Sept. 19, 2017, though it is largely symbolic, because Mexico does not permit life imprisonment and limits sentences to 60 years.
City prosecutors said Juan Mario Velarde, the "responsible director" of the remodeling, was convicted of 26 counts of homicide. He is one of hundreds of private experts who are paid to oversee safety and standards on building sites.