Mexicans demand millionaire compensation from China and the WHO for Covid-19

With mixed feelings that perhaps he seeks to profit from the death of his daughter, a victim of Covid-19, Jaime Michaus joined hundreds of Mexicans who claim to China and the WHO millionaire compensation for the pandemic.

This 63-year-old retiree recently signed an international claim promoted by a legal firm with offices in Latin America and the United States that seeks that the Chinese government and the World Health Organization (WHO) pay people affected by Covid-19.

Mexico has been hard hit by the coronavirus, being the fifth country in the world that registers the most deaths in absolute numbers with 298,944 until Tuesday.

For Michaus, signing was not easy.

“I am still not so convinced if I did the right thing, I have mixed feelings because it seems that I profit from the death of my daughter,” he tells AFP.

His daughter Noreen died on July 23 after contracting Covid-19. He was 25 years old, left a month-old baby. “No money is going to give me back my daughter, but I do it for the future of my granddaughter,” he justifies.

The cost of “negligence”

The office Poplavsky International Law Offices, whose headquarters is in Buenos Aires, leads this claim to which affected people from other countries have also joined, especially from Colombia and Argentina.

In social networks, they summon their potential clients in Mexico with the motto “Did you suffer from Covid? Know your rights”.

“These claims are presented due to the negligence of both China and the WHO in the management of Covid-19,” lawyer Denisse González, representative in Mexico of Poplavsky.

“All the compensations are economic, it depends on the situation. For having suffered Covid-19, it is $ 200,000, according to the consequences it is a higher amount, for death it is up to $ 800,000, the highest,” adds González.

The complaints are individual and are presented at the UN headquarters in Geneva alleging violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

An employee of a gas station in northern Mexico also sued. “I am 35 years old, I had never suffered from pressure and now it goes up and down, which is dangerous. I was left with a buzzing in one ear, my vision was also cloudy and I have to wear glasses,” says this woman who prefers to omit her name.

The firm ensures that its clients do not pay any formalities, that their fees will be covered with a percentage of the compensation in case of winning.

“What they would take seems fair to me and even little compared to what the offices ask for,” says Michaus, who reserves the percentage.


The Poplavsky law firm estimates that these claims can take at least five years to resolve and recognizes the arduous process of acting as individuals, but trusts that at some point countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom or Italy will support similar claims from their citizens and that would benefit to other plaintiffs.

“We are talking about millions of pesos, something that middle-class people like us can hardly have. Well used, that money will serve my granddaughter and much more,” says Michaus, who estimates he has a “50% chance” of winning.

The other plaintiff also sees the potential compensation as an opportunity to leave an estate to her two teenage sons. “I’m starting to build my house,” she says cheerfully.

However, Lourdes Marleck Ríos Nava, a specialist in public international law at the state-run National Autonomous University of Mexico, sees few opportunities for these actions because, she stresses, complaints from States, not individuals, are settled at the UN.

“People know that they are not going to prosper, but suddenly they are filing lawsuits to see if any of them are successful. And if they pay one, they pay all,” he stresses.

Lawyer Fernando Martínez de Velasco also seeks to bring a collective claim against China, represented by its embassy, ​​before the Mexican courts. But it has failed to meet the minimum 30 plaintiffs required by this action.

“I thought there was going to be a queue of people waiting to sue, but strangely it wasn’t like that. I think it’s a credibility problem, that that (winning) is never going to happen.”

Leave a Comment