Human Rights and Civil Society

New investigation to be launched into 2009 ABC Daycare fire

Seen here, a memorial was erected to honor the 49 children who died in the ABC Daycare fire in 2009. Photo: Cuartoscuro.
Seen here, a memorial was erected to honor the 49 children who died in the ABC Daycare fire in 2009. Photo: Cuartoscuro.

12/30/13 (written by feliciagomez) — Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General del República, PGR) announced this month that a company based in England will launch an independent investigation into the ABC Daycare fire in 2009 that killed 49 children. The name of the company and the date that the investigation will begin have yet to be publically disclosed. The announcement comes four years after the incident occurred and marks the third investigation to be opened into the case. The new investigation by the English company, which was a task chosen specifically for a foreign company because it “is not involved with the issue,” will take a closer look into if the fire was started intentionally.

The 2009 fire started in a warehouse owned by the Secretary of Finances (Secretaria de Finanzas) of Hermosillo in Sonora and spread to the ABC Daycare center, ultimately leading to the death of 49 children and injury of 75 others. In June 2010, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that there were “grave human rights violations” in the ABC Daycare fire, but refused to rule that any current or former public officials be held responsible for them. Former Supreme Court Justice Juventino Castro criticized the Court for its decision to not prosecute any individuals, arguing that these “technical problems” have kept justice from being served in the ABC case. (Read more about the Supreme Court ruling here).

The PGR has also found evidence from its investigations that has led it to further believe that the fire was intentionally started by three public officials working for the Secretary of Finances, although whether it was intended to spread to the daycare center remains unclear. The other believed reason for the fire is that it was started after a system failure with the buildings air conditioner. Neither explanation has been confirmed.

For more information on the ABC Daycare fire, check out these earlier Justice in Mexico stories here and here.


Justice in Mexico. “June 2010 News Report.” Trans-Border Institute. June 2010.

Gómora, Doris. “Confirma PGR Nuevo peritaje en caso de guardería ABC.” El Universal. December 16, 2013.

Mosso, Ruben. “Caso ABC: indagarán ‘incendio provocado.’” Milenio. December 16, 2013.

EFE. “Harán otro peritaje en guardería ABC, acepta la PGR.” Vanguardia. December 17, 2013. 

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