Frida Sofia, the girl who never existed

Only two days after the earthquake, experts stated that there were no victims within the rubble of the school Enrique Rebsamen

Frida Sofia, the girl who never existed

Frida Sofia, the girl allegedly trapped amidst the rubble of the school Enrique Rebsamen, never existed. 24 hours after half of the school collapsed, where 25 people died, 19 minors, and 6 adults, information about a girl trapped inside mobilize Mexicans and foreigners aid workers. A whole story was presented to the public; doctors and nurses were preparing themselves to receive the little girl. A mole, a person who goes into the debris in the hopes to rescue people, mentioned several times to have communicated with the girl and even mentioned that she stated being very tired.

When people wondered what else was going on with the girl, they would tell the public that she had received water and oxygen, but at the same time the answers were never concrete; there was always outside pressure to know what was going on with the girl, whether or not there were more survivors in the area, but it was all a lie.

But the lie fell as soon as Admiral Jose Luis Vergara, after 24 hours of nonstop search, admitted that there was no one trapped within the building. Vergara stated that he had received a list of the students of that school and not one was called Frida Sofia. Also, no family members ever stepped forward asking for the child.

This tragedy recalls one similar that happened 32 years ago. In the earthquake of 1985, a small child called “Monchito” had allegedly been trapped under the rubble, but, just like with this story, the boy was never found because he didn’t exist and soon it was all forgotten.

For the media, after the lie had been discovered, various theories began to hit surface. One of them was why didn’t more news outlets cover Frida Sofia’s story. Another asked why only one person, the mole, could communicate with the girl and how could this person change the location of the victim throughout those crucial 24 hours.

There is no certainty as to why the story of Frida Sofia came to life. In 1985, the theories about Monchito ranged from a buried safe to the idea that it was all made up to hide the poor management of Mexico after the tragedy. But, just like 32 years ago, this issue has already been forgotten and there is no answer on why so many efforts were spent on trying to save a girl that didn’t exist.  

After the earthquake of September 19th, the school Enrique Rebsamen will be marked as the saddest symbol of the tragedy, as well as the biggest of the century.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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