Mexico school owner gets 31 years for 2017 quake collapse

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The owner and director of a private elementary school that collapsed in Mexico City during the 2017 earthquake killing 19 children and seven adults was sentenced Wednesday to 31 years in prison.

Mónica García Villegas had been convicted of charges equivalent to manslaughter in September.

Mexico City Attorney General Ernestina Godoy Ramos said via Twitter after the sentence handed down, “We achieved justices for the victims!” Her office had asked for a sentence of 57 years.

The Enrique Rebsamen school collapsed in the devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake Sept. 19, 2017. García Villegas was prosecuted because officials said her decision to improperly build an apartment atop part of the school contributed to its collapse.

The case came to symbolize the rampant corruption in the city’s construction permitting. García Villegas was arrested in May 2019 and has maintained her innocence throughout.

Mexicans were glued to live coverage of days of search and rescue efforts at the large rubble pile on the city’s south side.

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