08/17/11- Four prison guards were arrested after three adolescents who are considered highly dangerous escaped earlier this month from the State Center for Preventive Measures of Juvenile Freedom (Centro Estatal de Medidas Preventivas de la Libertad para Adolescentes, CEMPLA) in the state of Morelos. The guards, who have been identified as Julio César Maldonado Salgado, José Antonio Real Acevedo, Juan Manuel Lara García, and Mario Sebastián Ramírez Morán, were ordered by a judge to each pay 20 thousand pesos in fines for their alleged role in the August 11 escape. The three inmates that fled, ages 14, 16, and 18, are facing charges including homicide, theft, kidnapping, and transportation of illegal arms. All three inmates were able to escape through windows located in prison bathrooms. The prison is also home to the notorious 14-year-old Edgar Jiménez Lugo “El Ponchis” who is facing a three year sentence for various charges, including homicide. “El Ponchis” used to belong to the Pacífico Sur cartel.
The ongoing investigation into the recent escape has led authorities to believe the prison director, Evelia Flores Hernández, may have also played a role. Prison guards that were questioned by the Attorney General’s office (Procuraduría General de Justicia, PGJ) confessed that Flores is the one “solely responsible for the escape.” Authorities were already concerned with Flores for the lack of prison security measures, which the detainees were able to take advantage of as they fled. In two different accounts, Flores failed to act on recommendations made by the state State’s Human Rights Commission (Comisión Estatal de Derechos Humanos, CEDH) regarding flaws in the prison’s infrastructure and lack of personnel. In addition to this incident, Flores allegedly has allowed inmates to freely consume drugs and have sexual relations among themselves. The mother of an inmate told Milenio how her daughter once commented on how there is no need to smuggle drugs inside the prison since one can get them “inside the prison without risk.”