One month after the train crash in Once that claimed 51 lives and injured more than 700 people, relatives and commuters gathered to demonstrate at the precise time of the accident, between 8:30 and 8:32.
The protest was organised to fuel national clamour toward demands for justice and answers in the wake of last month’s disaster.
“The idea is that the sound will keep awake the need for justice and to find those responsible,” said Paolo Menghini, who lost his son last month, in an interview with Radio La Red.
Between 8:30 and 8:32 this morning, protesters banged pans, blew whistles, and honked horns to honour the dead and maintain vigilance in their push for justice.
So far, however, very little has been done officially to address responsibility and rectify the problem. Apart from the resignation of former transport secretary Juan Pablo Schiavo and an ongoing investigation into the accounts of Trenes de Buenos Aires (TBA), justice has not been sufficiently met for victims and their families.
“We hope citizens will join us with the only flag, as always, of the order of justice and without political, union, or social identifications,” Menghini continued.
Since the accident, with trains under management by the government, commuters on the same route from Moreno to Once have seen the service deteriorate as travel time has increased. Some feel things have gotten worse.
“Few trains, fewer frequencies. We travel like animals. Look what this is,” one passenger told Clarín.
Meanwhile, as Judge Claudio Bonadio’s investigation into the TBA continues, another former transport secretary, Ricardo Jaime, denies responsibility for the accident.
“I have no share of responsibility. I’m not an official,” Jaime said on TV show Caiga quien Caiga. “Justice will say what and who produced this situation.”
Jaime was transport secretary from 2003 to 2009, at which time he resigned under pressure for numerous allegations of corruption. Jaime is now under scrutiny for accepting bribes from companies involved in the train service and other instances of unjust enrichment.
The crux of the investigation surrounds the expenditure of funds designated for railway investment and how their misuse allowed the system to produce such a fatal accident.