Posted by DD
|This welcoming sign on a mountain approaching Monterrey is not from Zorro.|
By now, most of the readers of BB know that Ivan Hernandez Cantu, alias "Creed" is a Zeta from the Monterrey area that he was the big boss and controlled the prison, Topo Chico, in Monterrey.
He lived a life of luxury there, with a cell that was 3 times the size of a normal cell (without a lock on the door), had a king sized bed and a private tiled bath, and of course TV, AC, and all the toys and gadgets you would expect to see in a luxury home.
Juan Pedro Saldivar Farias, known as Z 27, is a Zeta who is alleged to have been the regional leader of the Los Zetas in Tamaulipas. Z 27 had been in Topo Chico only a couple of months after being transferred there from Matamoros Cereso.
With the luxury life style of cartel bosses in Topo Chico, it is no wonder that Z 27 went to court in Tamaulipas and obtained an amparo (injunction) stating that he was not a dangerous criminal and posed no threat and the judge ordered his release from the maximum security prison in Matamoros and ordered that he be transferred to Topo Chico.. Nuevo Leon Governor "Bronco" Rodriquez called that judges decision "absurd".
After a short while in Topo Chico Z 27 wanted to take control of the prison away from "Creed" and be the big boss himself. He organized and led a group of about 20 Zeta inmates from the Tamaulipas region to attack and kill Creed. The attempt did not succeed, but resulted in the riot that took place on Feb. 10 and the early hours of Feb. 11 during which 49 people were killed.
CRIMES OF THE INMATES
Zocalo.com reported the name and crimes of some of the dead.
Juan Hernandez Cantu "Creed", was arrested in 2012 on charges of kidnapping and sale of drugs in the municipalities of Juarez, San Nicolas, Guadalupe and Apodaca.. The State Public Security spokesman reported that Hernandez Cantu was arrested with 23 other people linked to a Zeta cell involved in at least 48 murders in Nuevo Leon from 2011 until his arrest.
Juan Pedro Saldivar Farias, "Z-27" was arrested in October 2013 in the municipality of San Nicolas de los Garza and identified as the alleged regional Zeta boss in Tamaulipas. He was allegedly involved in the attack against two agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a road in San Luis Potosi in 2011 that killed agent Jamie Zapata.Z-27 was also linked to the disappearance of US citizen David Michael Hartley which occurred on 30 September 2010 at Falcon Lake where Hartley and his wife were jet skiing.
|Hartley's wife says her husband was shot in the head and as a result “flew” off his jet ski while the couple was returning from the landmark on the Mexican side of Lake Falcon ...|
Among those killed in the riot are those who were imprisoned for minor offenses, (some even awaiting trial or were still on trial) and tossed into Topo Chico with some of Mexico's most hardened criminals They were all in the general population with drug dealers, kidnappers and people linked to multiple murders.
"Ayyy, my son is on the list! (list of dead prisoners that was posted at the gate of the prison) " 63-year-old Maria Guadalupe Ramirez screamed when she saw the name of her son, Jose Guadalupe Ramirez Quintero, 26, before collapsing into the arms of a daughter and human rights workers.
"He had already gotten out. They picked him up again just for drinking. ... There is injustice in this prison," she said, shaking her fists and sobbing. He was re-arrested for being drunk while celebrating his release from prison after serving 2 1/2 years for a robbery.
One of the cases that has drawn the most attention is that of Erick Gonzalez Calzada , who was arrested for stealing a car stereo committed in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
Similar cases occurred with Luis Alejandro Ortiz Martinez, Luis Montemayor Torres and Juan Francisco Jesus Aguilar Garcia, who were arrested for vehicle theft
Francisco Villegas Ibarra Pardo and Miguel Angel Gaytan were held in the Topo Chico prison for performing tasks "halconeo" and drug dealing.
Some of the more violent prisoners who died in the riot were :
Guadalupe Armando and Dario Rodriguez Graciano Sánchez Macías were imprisoned for the murder of a person , while Edgar Torres Davila was arrested and imprisoned for the murder of three people.
Those imprisoned for cases of kidnapping were Robert Steve Segura Rivera and Damian Emanuel Gonzalez Juarez, who were accused of involvement in the kidnapping of Belden Lorenzo González. José Fabián Ortiz Bernal was linked to the kidnapping of a woman in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
Juan Moreno Solis was in prison for being involved in the murder of Raul and Fortino de la Garza , brothers Sergio Alanis Marroquín, leader of the PRI in Nuevo Leon.
Miguel Angel Salas Valdez is involved in killings, drug dealing and collecting piso. .
Two other cases are high profile of Jose Frias Mendoza, involved in the murder of 17 members of the group Kombo Kolombia, and Jose Luis Rodriguez Huerta, linked to 16 murders.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
The Human Rights Commission says that their studies of the prison system in Mexico revealed that out of 111 prisons they examined 65 were inmate controlled.
While there are many things that need to be done to clean up the prison system, every analysis identifies 3 of the most urgent actions that need to be taken.
(1). Eliminate or at least reduce corruption in the system.
(2). Reduce overcrowding. (Topo Chico was 35% over capacity)
(3). Improve working conditions of guards and pay them a decent wage. (Rodriquez has said "no one wants to be a guard".
Governor "Bronco" Rodriquez has taken a beating in the social media and on Televisa for allowing this tragedy to happen. One security analyst has described it a time bomb waiting to blow.
Rodriquez has responded that he has been in office just a little over 100 days and he can not fix all the problems that have existed and grown in the penal system for decades in that amount of time. He has not been public about it, but shortly after he took office he had asked the federal government to remove all the federal prisoners from Nuevo Leon state prisons. They agreed to do so but had not removed any of them until the riot...
In my opinion though he is making a good start. As for corruption, his security director has arrested the warden of the prison, a guard who shot one of the rioters, and one other prison official not yet identified.
As for overcrowding, Televisa (historically with close ties to PRI and EPN. PRI lost power for the first time in history in Nuevo Leon when Bronco running as an "Independent", free of any ties to any political party won the election for Governor) is not reporting that shortly after Rodriques took office he went the National Security Director and asked that all federal prisoners be removed NL state prisons. The Security Director agreed to that but to do it incrementally. However he took no action to implement the agreement and it, like many other agreements and laws remained just a piece of paper. Until 49 people were killed at a riot in Topo Chico.
In a matter of hours after the riot was brought under control with the help of the army, 233 federal prisoners were removed fromTopo Chico and relocated to other prisons. 'Z-27" and "Creed" were among those removed.
However, the National Security (CNS) has not revealed the places where the transferred inmates were relocated to , "for security reasons, because if the criminal gangs they belonged to knew the locations they might try a rescue attempt at the airports when the transferred prisoners arrived.". There must have been a leak in their security precautions because movil informador reported that "Creed" was transferred to a federal prison in Guanajuato
Although the government seeks to disintegrate the Los Zetas cartel operating in the Topo Chico prison, the Governor faces huge problems in the state maintaining control of the prison as he said they will do. He has to recognize that much like outside the prison walls, when you take out a leader of a cartel another soon pops up to replace him.
In Topo Chico that may already be happening. As a "trustee" told movil informador, that a low level Zeta intended to regroup about 30 Zetas and retake control of the prison. The "trustee seemed to be the spokesman for the group and said "there is still one that we will follow. It is low level, but he wants to 'take the bone' (regain control of the prison). We will walk with him because we are the same cartel". According to the "Trustee", the third leader responds to the nickname "Maruchan". Only his alias was released for fear of reprisals. The "Trustee" only spoke to the informador reporter he would speak only on the condition of anonymity .
Governor Rodriquez has a big job ahead of him. I wish him luck.