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Before the emergency, only the photo

November 17, 2020

The President said it when flying over his state, which has been flooded for more than two weeks: “We had to choose between inconveniences, not flood Villahermosa and that the water flowed through the Samaria, of course, the people of Nacajuca, the areas Chontales, the poorest, but we had a decision to make. Now we are isolating the bottom and where most of the people of Tabasco live, a major flood was avoided… ”. Controversial decision, shared by himself in one of the videos that he uploads to social networks. He expressed it on his second visit to the entity. The immediate question is one: why didn’t they evacuate the areas that they knew would be most affected?

On this, a day before the national director of Conagua, Blanca Elena Jimenez, said: “Look, I can’t tell you not to overflow, nor am I going to tell you that you are not going to flood because, for the conditions of how you live, it is better to be forewarned, as well as to be aware, as I would say someone in the middle: they had to live here. You have to learn to live with what you have and be very aware of the situation… ”.

Communities condemned by both the federal and local Executive Power, because it is not like the governor Adam Augusto López has done nothing to evict and save the communities that they all knew would be most affected. Eight dead and more than 302 thousand affected; more than 100,000 houses damaged, many of them in total loss. Images where people are seen trying to rescue what little they can. The water level reached such a dimension that washing machines floated in the water and crocodiles swam through the streets. About 900, yes, 900 communities affected by floods that do not surprise anyone, that we have reported year after year, that authorities at all levels forget despite various promises to avoid them.

Twelve years ago, Mexican researchers presented senators with a report where they established the causes of the floods that occur in Tabasco at this time: settlements in risk areas, decreased capacity of tributary channels and the lack of hydraulic infrastructure to the Grijalva, Usumacinta and Carrizal rivers. This, added to the lack of a comprehensive plan to raise the water level. The commitment to respond to prevent future emergencies led, for example, the government of Enrique Peña Nieto promised to invest more than 19 million pesos to strengthen the infrastructure of the region and thus prevent floods. However, in 2015 they only spent 1.1 billion. In 2017, spending was reduced to less than 600 million and, according to the budget exercised, for 2018, the investment was not even a peso.

It is true that these emergencies could be avoided for years; but it is also true that, by 2019, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador He could have invested and worked to avoid the images that we see today of his state: but both his government and that of Adam Augusto López It seemed a better idea to send the resources and investment to Dos Bocas or the Mayan Train. In September and October of last year, at least two large-scale floods were registered in Villahermosa. In the journalistic reports we find the same in those months of 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 … whatever year.

The climatic phenomena that cause these emergencies cannot be avoided, but their effects can be contained before they surprise us. The President was questioned on both visits: the first for only touring the affected areas by helicopter; the second for adding trips in vehicles and thus he responded: “I can’t get wet just for the photo. I’m doing my part. That helps more (…) I’m not a fake, I have love for the people, that’s why I’m in this, I’m not fifi… ”. Although, for now, your government has only offered that, the photo, or in how long will we see the investment necessary to prevent these floods?