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Mexico City school owner convicted in 2017 collapse

FILE- In this Sept. 19, 2017 file photo, rescue workers search for children trapped inside the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen elementary school in Mexico City. The Mexico City prosecutor's office said Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, it has requested a sentence of 57 years in prison for the owner and director of the elementary school who has been found guilty of charges equivalent to manslaughter. The school collapse killed 26 people in the devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake. (AP Photo/Carlos Cisneros, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The owner and director of an elementary school that collapsed in Mexico City during the 2017 earthquake has been found guilty of charges equivalent to manslaughter.

The school collapse killed 26 people in the devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake in September 2017.

The Mexico City prosecutor’s office said late Thursday it has requested a sentence of 57 years in prison for Mónica García Villegas. Sentencing will be held next week.

The collapse of the Enrique Rebsamen school killed 19 children and seven adults and came to symbolize the corruption and impunity that plague Mexican construction.

Officials have said García Villegas’ decision to build an apartment atop the school contributed to the collapse.

As in other cases, authorities apparently failed to enforce building and operation regulations prior to the quake, which killed 228 people in the capital and 141 others in nearby states.