May 3 Mexico City, Mexico: An overpass collapsed on Line 12 of the Mexico City Metro, causing the deaths of 26 people and injuring 80 more, according to AP News. The Mexico City Metro is one of the world’s busiest metro systems, which is used by millions of people daily. On May 8, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that families of the victims will receive financial compensation from both the city and the metro train line. “We are not going to leave them alone,” Sheinbaum said during a news conference. “We are going to be with them and we are going to give them all the support they require.” In a telephone poll of over 400 residents, 22% of respondents said they blamed Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard—who was mayor during the construction of Line 12—and 4.5% blamed Sheinbaum due to other metro accidents happening since she took office. Ebrard and Sheinbaum are seen as the leading candidates to succeed Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. “If the problem was structural, it hits Marcelo…if the problem was maintenance, it hits Sheinbaum,” said Fernando Belaunzaran, an opposition politician. “The struggle over succession will be about trying to demarcate the responsibility.”
May 5 Brighton and Hove, England: The U.K.’s largest international LGBTQ+ Pride Festival announced its cancellation for the second year in a row due to COVID-19 uncertainties. This comes after the announcement in February that the event, which typically brings around 250,000 visitors to the city, would occur from August 7–8. The 2020 festival was originally set to celebrate the annual festival’s 30th anniversary and have Mariah Carey headline. “We are devastated at having to make this decision for a second year and recognise the huge impact on local businesses, charities and community groups who rely on the fundraising potential of the Pride weekend,” said Paul Kemp, director of Brighton Pride. “Pride attracts tens of thousands of people to our city for the LGBTQ+ community parade which is the heart of the Pride celebrations, where social distancing clearly can’t be facilitated safely.” With the announcement, the Brighton and Hove Pride team announced they are still planning smaller in-person community and cultural events that adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
May 6 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: A police raid on a poor neighborhood targeting drug traffickers left 28 people dead, making it the deadliest operation carried out by security forces in the city, according to Reuters. Of the 28 deaths, one was a police officer and 27 were civilians who allegedly had associations with a drug trafficking operation. Residents in the area along with human rights groups have spoken out about a need for a thorough investigation into the shootout. “It’s completely unacceptable that security forces keep committing grave human rights violations such as those that occurred in Jacarezinho today against residents of the favelas, who are mostly Black and live in poverty,” said Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil. “Even if the victims were suspected of criminal association, which has not been proven, summary executions of this kind are entirely unjustifiable.”
May 7 Porto, Portugal: European Union heads of state met to discuss the bloc’s social affairs at the EU Social Summit 2021. 24 leaders attended the summit in-person in addition to three attending virtually to discuss their goals of implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. “As vaccination is well on track, as we return to our normal lives, it’s time to mend our social fabric, damaged by the crisis,” European Commision President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter. Ahead of the summit, 11 EU governments issued a joint statement warning against too strong labor and social policy interventions. In addition, leaders of Poland and Hungary lobbied on Friday to remove the phrase “gender equality” from a declaration on the goals of the European Union to rebuild from COVID-19, opting for looser language regarding fighting discrimination, according to Reuters.