Disaster Contracts

How do governments respond to natural disasters?

On October 1, 2015, the village of El Cambray II,just 10 minutes from one of Guatemala’s richest neighborhoods, was buried by a mudslide caused by heavy rains. The area, which had been home to more than 600 people, was totally devastated: more than 180 families lost their homes, 370 people died and 70 more remain unaccounted for.

A couple of years later, the earthquakes of September 7 and 19 in Mexico killed 471 people, affected 12 million and left more than 250,000 homeless. The states hardest hit were Chiapas, Puebla, Morelos, Tabasco, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Mexico State, including Mexico City.

The website Disaster Contracts is a journalism project between PODER and El Intercambio, financed by Hivos, that tracks the public contracts by which the governments of Mexico and Guatemalaresponded to these two natural disasters, which had a serious effect on both countries.

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