Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Prison Fight in Durango Leaves 11 Inmates Dead

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 |

EFE

At least 11 inmates died from stab wounds in a fight at the Gomez Palacio prison in the northern Mexican state of Durango, officials said.

The cause of Tuesday’s fight has not been determined, said Durango Public Safety Secretariat spokesman.

The situation has returned to normal at the prison, which houses 690 inmates, the official said.

The Durango Attorney General’s office will provide more information about the deaths and the results of the investigation in the next few days, the official said.

Four inmates were murdered in August at the Gomez Palacio prison, a facility that has been rocked by corruption scandals involving officials.

The prison warden and three other officials were arrested last year on suspicion she let inmates leave the facility to carry out killings in the nearby city of Torreon, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.

Warden Margarita Rojas Rodriguez, her deputy, Francisco Carlos Alberto Uranga, and prison security chiefs Roberto Enriquez Aguayo and Jose Guadalupe Diaz Ordaz were arrested on July 25.

The prison officials are charged in connection with more than 30 deaths in Torreon, including the July 18 massacre of 17 people attending a birthday party at a rented hall, the AG’s office said.

Rojas is accused of allowing inmates to leave the prison at night to carry out killings with active help from some of the guards.

The inmates returned to their cells after the crimes, prosecutors said.

The prison officials were arrested days after the appearance on the Internet of a video in a which a Lerdo, Durango, police officer confesses to being on the payroll of a crime boss and points to warden Rojas’s alleged role in the Torreon murders.

The video of Rodolfo Najera was made and posted on the Web by Los Zetas, a band of special forces deserters turned hired guns and drug traffickers, and concludes with the cop’s execution.

La Laguna, a region that includes parts of Durango and neighboring Coahuila state, is the object of a bitter turf war between Los Zetas and the Sinaloa drug cartel.

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4 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the prison system in Mexico an example of the effectivness of its Governmental institutions? If so then is the Govt of Mexico a reflection of it's people? Well Mexican food and beer are good.

Smurf said...

I just read an article saying that the prisons are choked with those arrested during the drug war. Kind of a catch 22, cant let them go, but they are just as powerful and dangerous inside the prison walls. I hate to say this because I don't advocate lock up as a solution but hell, build more prison, hire more guards, WTF else can Mexico do?

Layla2 said...

Build a few prisons especially for DTO's, narcotraffikers, and their killers. Build a formidable fortress with individual cells to lock these people up in 23 hrs a day. Hire the best guards who are well vetted. Give them limited access to each other.

Carry out long prison sentences and make traffiking and related violence a Federal Offence with mandatory 10+ yrs depending on crime. Execute these trials quickly and efficiently. Present evidence--boom--sentenced in 30 days. Have military style trials if necessary. A tribunal, a decision, go to jail!

Anonymous said...

Layla2: Yada,yada, yada... of course,your recommendations would be very helpful "if" the prison system and the government agencies that interface with it were not corrupt; and also "if" the prisoners did not run the prisons. You obviously don't understand that to a large extent prisoners "run" prisons in places like Mexico.

Your Utopian-like recommendations would probably work were Mexico not a "failed" (corrupted) State.

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