By Anahi Parra
CHALCO, MEXICO — Last Friday at 1:30 in the morning, an unexpected roar woke hundreds of families in a section of Mexico City known as Chalco. After a few seconds, the horror of the roar soon registered with the sleepy residents who saw their houses being flooded by sewage.
It was at that time that one of the dams that holds La CompaÃ±Ãa Canal broke in a matter of minutes, covering the MÃ©xico-Puebla highway with the filthy waters. Unfortunately, this is a tragedy that happens every year.
However, this time there’s a difference. The level of sewage has reached almost 6 ft., and it seems an almost impossible task to return it to its normal level.
Right now, sewage covers the streets of the whole town. Families sit on the roofs of their flooded houses, watching a parade of floating fridges and sofas drifting alongside sunken cars.
Residents watch helplessly as Chalco streets flood with sewage.
To make matters worse, the isolated community has no exit since the main highway is also flooded. The little amount of help that has arrived so far has not been enough to appease the victims’ desperation — during the day there are fights between the police and firemen over who can be rescued first, or who can get more drinkable water; at night, residents are afraid of looting and robbery.
Though the most painful part of the situation that the people from Chalco are currently facing is linked to the abundant rains that fell last week, it is also a direct consequence of three vices that seem to characterize governments in our times: irresponsibility, indifference and negligence.
Learn more about Anahi
AnahÃ Parra is a passionate lover of Mexico City, where she was born and brought up about three decades ago.
She enjoys walking around to take photographs, eating delicious food, and exploring the night in the city.
She finished a BA in History and worked as a research assistant for some years. However, she has always been interested in the “real life” and now she writes a blog Macha Mexico which is about queer events and characters in Mexico City.
Sometimes, you can find her having an espresso at one of the many old little cafes that are spread out in the so-called biggest city of the world.