Three officials at the prison in Reynosa, border city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, have been charged with aiding the escape of 86 inmates, officials said, adding that two other prison employees were being sought in the case.
The acting warden, shift supervisor and commander of guards were indicted in connection with the mass escape, the Attorney General’s Office said.
The prison officials charged were Jose Guadalupe Perez Ortega, head of the office of the Center for Implementation of Sanctions, José Refugio Cepeda Mancilla shift manager and Carlos Esteban Arellano Segovia commander of custodians.
The three are accused of aiding and abetting the escape of prisoners charged with drug crimes, as well as with dereliction of duty.
Seventy-four of the 86 inmates who escaped from the prison last Friday were doing time for violations of federal laws, most of them for drug trafficking and organized crime.
Mexico’s criminal organizations, especially drug cartels, have used mass escapes in the past to recruit hitmen, intelligence reports from drug enforcement agents say.
A total of 201 inmates have busted out of the prisons in Tamaulipas this year alone, with most of them leaving in mass escapes.
Tamaulipas has become one of Mexico’s most violent states due to the war between the Gulf cartel and its former armed wing, Los Zetas, for control of turf and smuggling routes into the United States.
Members of an organized crime group, apparently assisted by prison personnel, helped 53 inmates escape from the penitentiary in Cieneguillas, a city in the central state of Zacatecas, in May.
List of prison escapes this year so far in Reynosa and Matamoros:
March 26, 2010 - 41 inmates escaped from the Matamoros penitentiary.
(March 38 federal prisoners and the common law)
April 2, 2010 - 12 federal inmates escaped from the prison in Reynosa.
July 7, 2010 - 12 federal inmates escaped from the prison in Reynosa
And this September 10, 85 inmates managed to escape without having to fire a single shot.