Mexico: "We are still standing and will carry on our work"

Report
from Government of Mexico
Published on 11 Oct 1999
Press Release 1804

Tezuitlán, Puebla, October 11, 1999.

President Zedillo supervised aid and announced the start of reconstruction and the Housing Program in Puebla

  • The Government and people of Mexico will demonstrate their solidarity with flood victims.
  • President Zedillo announced the commencement of reconstruction work and the Housing Program.
  • Full respect will be given to those affected by the emergency situation caused by torrential rains.
  • This tragedy must not be used to seek political advantage.
  • I am here as the President of Mexico and represent millions of Mexicans.
  • The President supervised aid work in this area of Puebla.
As he supervised aid work for victims of the flooding that affected Puebla, President Zedillo remarked that this tragedy must not be used to gain political space in newspapers or on radio and television news programs. He added that, although freedom of expression is a reality, there are people engaged in political campaigns who are commenting on this disaster due to personal political interest and not because of any real concern about the situation.

He also mentioned that the victims of this tragedy deserve our solidarity and respect.

In Tezuitlán, President Zedillo headed a work meeting at a shelter established at the Lions Club, to evaluate the programs implemented to provide food, medicines, drinking water, hygiene and home repair.

After hearing the demands of families affected by this natural phenomenon, President Zedillo commented that "we are going to rebuild everything that has been lost, we are still standing and will carry on".

Our top priority is to help those in danger of suffering further damage, hunger, thirst and sickness.

Dr. Zedillo added that we are living in a free country where everyone can say what they think; these opinions will always be welcome as long as they are based on the facts and not on speculation.

He announced that we are now ready to begin reconstruction and the Housing Program so as to support affected families in Tezuitlán.

The President also commented that, in the space of 72 hours, this area received almost half its normal annual rainfall, thus causing the present tragedy.

Although we are working on several fronts, there is nonetheless great concern because the breakdown of communications has prevented us from getting sufficient aid to places where support is urgently required. Furthermore, bad weather has not allowed our helicopters to reach places where they are needed.

It should be noted that, on while his way to Puebla, bad weather forced President Ernesto Zedillo to land at the village of Los Magueyitos in the municipality of Perote. He then traveled an hour by road until reaching Jáltipan, Veracruz, before reaching the affected zone of Tezuitlán, Puebla.

Although we will need more time to open up certain access routes, we will nonetheless reach the communities where food, water and medicines are required, he commented.

President Zedillo expressed his confidence that progress will be made in this area over the next few days, and that the acute emergency affecting Tezuitlán will shortly be overcome.

President Zedillo was accompanied by the Secretaries of National Defense, General Enrique Cervantes Aguirre; of Social Development, Carlos Jarque Uribe; of Communications and Transportation, Carlos Ruiz Sacristán; of Public Education, Miguel Limón Rojas; of Health, Juan Ramón de la Fuente; the Governor of the state of Puebla, Melquiades Morales Flores; the Director of the National Water Commission, Guillermo Guerrero Villalobos; the Head of the Presidential Security Corps, General Roberto Miranda Sánchez; and the General Director of Social Communication and the Spokesman of the Presidency, Fernando Lerdo de Tejada.

Later, President Ernesto Zedillo visited the La Aurora neighborhood of Tezuitlán, which was seriously damaged when intense rain produced a landslide at the municipal cemetery.