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Mexico remembers preschool fire victims on day of national mourning

June 5, 2010 |  2:46 pm
Anguished parents and Mexican dignitaries came together Saturday to remember 49 children killed one year ago in a horrific fire at a daycare center in Hermosillo, northern Mexico. Tearful ceremonies and angry protests filled this year's June 5, declared a day of national mourning.

During a memorial in Hermosillo, where Gov. Guillermo Padres asked for forgiveness from parents and survivors, it took several minutes to read out the names of the young victims. After each name, a group of parents, many wearing pictures of their dead toddlers, shouted "No debio morir!" (He/she should not have died.)

As the Times' Ken Ellingwood reported earlier in the week, parents are finding justice elusive. Despite flagrant security violations and evidence of corrupt inspections, no one has been punished. Some officials, in fact, have been promoted. On Saturday, parents demanded an investigation into Padres' predecessor, Eduardo Bours, the state governor who was in charge last year at the time of the fire. CNN's Spanish-language service also has a video report here.

"There are many guilty parties," one bitter parent told Ellingwood. "It's a disgrace. A disgrace for Mexico."

 -- Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City

Photo: Families remember the children killed in school fire a year ago Saturday. Credit: La Jornada