Tag Archives: Daniel Karam

Supreme Court exonerates top officials in ABC fire

The Supreme Court voted not to name top officials as responsible parties in their investigation of grave violations of human rights in the ABC day care center fire in Hermosillo, Sonora last year.  The 14 individuals who had been named in the original draft prepared by Supreme Court minister Arturo Zaldívar included Juan Molinar Horcasitas, Secretary of Communications and Transportation (and then head of the Social Security Institute, IMSS), Daniel Karam, current head of the IMSS, then-governor of Sonora Eduardo Bours, and then-mayor of Hermosillo, Ernesto Gándara. The result avoids the potential political complications for the Government of having two cabinet current members cited by the Court. (Universal 6/17)

ABC Child Care center fire: one year later

The first anniversary of the ABC child care center fire in Sonora was declared a national day of mourning by President Calderón. Thousands marched in Hermosillo to remember the dead and demand reforms. Forty-nine children died and 74 were injured in the disaster. Supreme Court minister Arturo Zaldívar issued a draft report on the tragedy.  Zaldivar’s report, which must be voted upon by the full Court, found 14 public officials at fault, including Minister of Communications and Transportation Juan Molinar Horcasitas, who was then the head of the Social Security Institute (IMSS), under whose auspices the child care center operated.  Others named include current IMSS head Daniel Káram and former Sonora governor Eduardo Bours. The Supreme Court has the power to investigate violations of individual rights, but not to sanction individuals. However, the naming of Molinar, one of Calderón’s closest advisors, could have consequences. Noted columnist Rene Delgado, “Juan Molinar Horcasitas should see that his time is up. He should have presented his resignation months ago.  If he isn’t going to do so now, President Calderón should remove him from his post.” (Universal 6/6, Reforma 6/6)

IMSS sues Sonora government for day care center deaths

Daniel Karam, the head of the Social Security Institute (IMSS), announced that the IMSS had sued the Sonora State Finance Ministry for civil damages related to the fire in the ABC Day Care Center in Hermosillo. The toll reached 47, with the death of a 2-year old girl today. The Finance Ministry was the day care center’s co-tenant, and Karam said, “This fire was caused by the negligence of those responsible for the warehouse used by the State of Sonora.” Columnist Ricardo Alemán noted, “The governor of Sonora, Eduardo Bours, has become a dead weight for the PRI. … The tragic scandal that killed the [47] children, the offensive family business of Bours’ relatives with day care centers, the phony state investigation, and today’s federal lawsuit … are a lethal media blow which could wind up painting Sonora blue [the color of the PAN].” (Excelsior 6/22, Universal 6/22)

Hermosillo scorecard: “Deaths: 46; Persons arrested: 0

Some 20,000 citizens marched in Hermosillo, Sonora to demand accountability for the fire in the ABC Day Care Center. One banner read: “Deaths: 46, Persons arrested: 0, Total Impunity.” Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora pledged a complete investigation. Daniel Karam, the head of the Social Security Institute, fired four Institute officials in Sonora and ordered four other day care centers operated by the owners of ABC to be closed down.  The spouses of two of the owners – both senior officials in the government of PRI Governor Eduardo Bours–resigned their posts. (Reforma 6/9, 6/12, 6/13, 6/14)