Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

UPDATE: Additional Details Apodaca Prison Riot-70 Dead?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 |

Rumors persist of the number of deaths being much greater than reported.  Below are two articles containing updated information...Paz, Chivis

Apodaca Prison Warden and Guards being escorted during detention

Just after 1 a.m., the guards opened the doors, and 30 men climbed up to guard tower No. 6 of the state prison outside the northern city of Monterrey. One by one, they slipped down ropes to waiting vehicles

Just after the men made their escape into the surrounding mountains, more guards opened more doors. This time, they let inmates belonging to the Zetas criminal gang surge from Cellblock C into Cellblock D, where their rivals in the Gulf Cartel were sleeping.

Over the next hour, Nuevo León State officials say, 44 prisoners — all believed to be part of the Gulf Cartel — were bludgeoned, beaten and stabbed to death.

Only two hours after the events began Sunday did jail officials at the Apodaca Prison alert state officials and the army.
video

“By the time we had the call for help, it was already past 3 in the morning, two hours after the escape and the fight,” said Jorge Domene, the state security spokesman, describing Sunday morning’s events. “By the time help arrived in response to the call, almost all the deaths had taken place,” he said, indicating that prison security cameras showed that more than 200 inmates had participated in the killings.

Officials in Nuevo León State said the jailbreak and the massacre had been carried out by the Zetas, the violent gang of drug enforcers who have turned against their former bosses in the Gulf Cartel and spread their reach over large parts of northern Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

The Zetas appeared to have the authorities at the Apodaca prison under their control. Investigators continued to question security guards Tuesday, and Mr. Domene told a radio interviewer that as many as 16 guards and officials had been implicated, including the prison’s warden, Gerónimo Miguel Andrés Martínez, and its chief of security, Óscar Deveze Laureano.

At least nine guards confessed to aiding the escape and the massacre directly and admitted that they had received $780 to $1,560 a month from the Zetas.

Officials said Tuesday that two men and a woman were stabbed to death Monday as they were waiting to be admitted to the Topo Chico jail, which is also in the state of Nuevo León.

The violence and corruption in Mexico’s overcrowded prison system have burst into public view with regularity since President Felipe Calderón started his crackdown on drug gangs more than five years ago.

In May 2009, 53 prisoners, many of them Zetas, walked out of a jail in the state of Zacatecas as guards looked on. In December 2010, 151 prisoners escaped from the jail in Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Texas. In July that year, the director of a prison in the northern city of Gómez Palacio was accused of allowing gangs out of the prison to commit murder-for-hire jobs using prison guards’ weapons and vehicles.

Of the 30 men who escaped early Sunday, 25 were convicted of federal crimes, said the Nuevo León governor, Rodrigo Medina. Among the escapees was Óscar Manuel Bernal Soriana, known as the Spider. Officials said he was a local Zeta leader with a reputation for bloodthirstiness who may have planned the jailbreak and ensuing massacre.

In his first comments on the Apodaca incident, Mr. Calderón said Tuesday that the prison systems in some states were “in crisis” and that the federal government was building new prisons, “an effort that has not been made in 20 years in Mexico.”

 SOURCE: NYT
The following from Wikipedia:
A woman attends wake of a loved one killed in the Apodaca prison riot


The Apodaca prison riot was a deadly brawl that occurred on 19 February 2012 at a prison in Apodaca, Nuevo León, Mexico.   Mexico City officials stated that at least 44 people were killed, with another twelve injured.   The Blog del Narco, a blog that documents events and people of the Mexican Drug War anonymously, reported that the actual (unofficial) death toll may be more than 70 people.

The fight was between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, two drug cartels that operate in northeastern Mexico.  The governor of Nuevo León, Rodrigo Medina, mentioned on 20 February 2012 that more than 30 inmates escaped from the prison during the riot.  One of the fugitives, Oscar Manuel alias La Araña ("The Spider"), is considered by the Mexican authorities to be "extremely dangerous," and is believed to be the leader of Los Zetas in the municipality of Monterrey.

The fight broke out around 2:00 a.m. local time between inmates in one high security cell block and inmates of another security cell block. The guards of the prison allowed the Zeta members to surge from Cellblock C into Cellblock D and attack the Gulf Cartel members, who were sleeping   A guard was taken hostage during the melee, and mattresses were set on fire.   
 Security personnel regained control of the prison by 6:00 a.m. Each cell block contained roughly 750 inmates, with members of rival drug cartels normally separated   Not all the prisoners were able to be counted, by the time the dead prisoners were counted, leading a public security spokesperson to speculate that the riot may have been started as a cover for a jail break.    
It was later confirmed that the riot and brawl "served as cover for a massive jailbreak" for the members of the Zetas drug cartel, who attacked the Gulf Cartel inmates  According to the The Wall Street Journal, the incident may be the deadliest prison riot in Mexican history.

El Universal mentioned that the prison riot in Apodaca has been the "gravest in the past five years" in Mexico.  Mileno  news, in addition, mentioned that the prisons in the state of Nuevo León are plagued with violence, and that they are "under the control of the criminal groups" that operate in the area.

The Apodaca prison was built to house 1,500 inmates, but had around 3,000 incarcerated at the time of the riot.   "Worried and weeping relatives" gathered outside the prison to wait for news.   After the split of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas in early 2010, both groups have been battling for Monterrey and other areas in northeastern Mexico . 

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15 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Rumors persist of the number of deaths being much greater than reported. Below are two articles containing updated information...Paz, Chivis

How do you know this Chivis? Are you an expert? Were you there? Were did you get this information from?

Anonymous said...

los zetas will destroy anyone who opposes them

Chivis said...

Libre networks-social networks are excellent sources for news n the ground. "underground" networks have been very reliable. I heard outrageous numbers but also a number of 70-75 has been persistant.

Do you know differently? Where are you? Tell us what you know and your connection to Apodaca.

Can you read? I am thinking you are ESL, the source is clearly stated as New York Times and the Wiki had 50 resources for their report.

Anonymous said...

It was not a "fight" those 44 men were led 1 by 1 to their deaths...

Anonymous said...

Plus the govt will want to play it down as they always have been doing in Mexico, building new prisons now after 20 years fk me they cannot be stupid in Mexico they just don't give a shit as this problem had been building long before Calderon got power, ain't his fault everyone just kept turning a blind eye to the cartels. I believe Chivas I've heard 70 too the news channels telediario never give out about the zetas so their news facts in my opinion is bullshit and the underground news such as this & blog del narco are more reliable & informative though milenio is better than their sister channel multimedios

Anonymous said...

All and all maby not such a bad thing,except for the poor people waiting to visit.The elimination of 50-65+- crininals OK,but the continuing Mess of Mexican prisons is mind boggeling this has been going on ever since Mexico has had prisons, say 100 years?? Is this a Mexican thing?? What is so hard ??

Anonymous said...

70 dead that's a start. now if we could only talk the cartels into killing each other quicker.

Anonymous said...

If Mexican Army is smart enough, they would start shoot 2 kill. You take a life they should get the same. Show who's boss or are you man enough? Would not happen here in the U.S., except we put those in prison here and it cost us hardworking people,tax paying to put up with your shit so you can have a nice place to sleep and food in your stomach. When you take a life you should just get the same punishment.

Anonymous said...

nice place to sleep? Really! Why don't you ask Peter Jennings how nice of a place prision is. He spent one night in jail doing a story and still has nightmares from what he heard through out the night. Look it up on youtube ....

Anonymous said...

im from texas and got arrested once in matamoros,scariest shit I went through,if it was not pay day or if my friends did not have my back I would be another dead fool....... but I knocked the fuck outta that cop lol.....Ll

Anonymous said...

This Shit just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

Anonymous said...

a lot of cartels are opposing them and they still around so shut the fuck up

Anonymous said...

Yeah killing people while they sleep, pretty damn tough.....P A N O C H A S

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha damn right... the mexican national security system is pathetic!! god i love america and kudos to the russians who may not have much liberty but at least there prisons arent overpowered lol:p

Anonymous said...

it was not a fight, its a cover up.. sad to say but they sacrifice those more than 30 rivals to say its a break.. thats totally fucked up

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