Nothing, Nobody (Nada, Nadie)

The voices of the Mexico City Earthquake.

After the Mexico City earthquakes of September 19th and 20th, 1985, nothing and nobody would ever be the same again. Panic, desperation, anger, impotence, horror, rescues, solidarity, death, the megalopolis completely destroyed. While a child would get out, unharmed, from under huge debris, somewhere else someone would take out dead bodies from under destroyed buildings, and rescue squads would spend day and night fighting against crooked beams and collapsed concrete.

The earthquake hit thousands of people directly and changed forever the life of millions, but it was also an experience with many lessons still unlearned.

Nothing, nobody talks about the fighting capacity of its victims, their courage, the irreparable losses, the unconditional solidarity of people who risked their own lives leaving everything behind to work endless hours for months to help others.

But it also talks about the blunders, injustices, sacking, dehumanization, corruption not only by the government but also by the many who only saw economical opportunities in this tragedy.

While the world saw the tragedy happening in the Mexican capital, one of the first governmental statements assured all the football stadiums were safe, so that the World Cup could still take place in Mexico the following year. Aid from several countries was rejected. The army started the DN-III Plan, which consisted on cordoning off destroyed buildings, dismissing the rescue squads, and forgetting the dead. People were furious, reproaching that the army would bring machine guns instead of shovels, groups of police officers would loot houses, and journalists and photographers were attacked and threatened.

In response, an incredible and huge volunteer work made up of civilians was organized. They took into their own hands the logistics of food supply, night vigilance, and traffic control.


RELEVANT DATA: Elena Poniatowska was in the streets covering the earthquake as a journalist, she published a series of controversial columns in the diary La Jornada. Three years later, with the support of a group of collaborators, she wrote Nothing Nobody, an impressive chronicle formed by multiple testimonies. Each person and each family lived a specific drama, and that is captured in this book, essential for the collective memory.

Poniatowska is an internationally recognized political activist, Polish-Mexican feminist leader, journalist and author. She has received many prestigious awards during her long writing career. Some of them are Miguel de Cervantes Award, Biblioteca Breve Award, Rómulo Gallegos Award, Alfaguara Novel Award, Mazatlán Literature Award. She has also been named Honorary Doctorate in more than ten universities around the world.


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: Series TV in development.


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