Crime and Violence

Prisons to receive military oversight

After the prison break in Cieneguillas Zacatecas last month in which 53 prisoners including some confirmed Zetas escaped with the aid of prison officials, the Mexican Army has reinforced security in select state prisons. Military sources revealed in May that soldiers would be sent to prisons in Puebla, Guanajuato, Durango, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, and Aguascalientes. Of the 253 state prisons in the nation, the Army, along with federal police agents, has performed searches of 28 prisons so far this year, and currently is running operations in a Chihuahua state prison where an armed group entered and killed scores of prisoners, also with the help of prison officials.
In the case of last month’s Zacatecas prison break, three of the escaped prisoners have been recovered, and the federal Attorney General’s Office has offered US$1 million for each remaining escaped prisoner. Meanwhile, the ex-director of the prison and 51 guards of the prison have been detained under orders from the newly formed Federal Ministerial Police. Federal Police officers loaded the guards into airplanes amidst protests from family members and were taken to a federal prison in Nayarit.

From the June Justice in Mexico Project’s Monthly News Report:

Jiménez, Benito. “Prevén reforzar cárceles con militares.” Reforma May 24, 2009.
“Declaran en SIEDO dos de los fugados del penal de Cieneguillas.” Milenio June 5, 2009.
Mejía, Irma. “PGR consigna a 51 custodios de Cieneguillas.” El Universal June 15, 2009.

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