Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Corruption and mismanagement make institutions vulnerable to riots, escape attempts

Experts warn that Mexico's prison system is on the verge of total collapse. There are currently 429 prisons in Mexico. Of those prisons, 15 are run by the national government, 10 by the authorities in Mexico City's Federal District, 91 by municipal governments and the rest by the states.

The government of Durango announced on Dec. 21 the definitive closure of the Gómez Palacio prison, which will be converted into a police station.

The government of Durango announced on Dec. 21 the definitive closure of the Gómez Palacio prison, which will be converted into a police station.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/2/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Mexico, prisons, corruption, escapes, drug cartels


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Statistics are uniformly grim. Studies indicate that the prison population is 22 percent, or around 40,000 prisoners -- over capacity. Even then, four out of 10 inmates are still pending sentencing. In an unheard of situation virtually unthinkable in other nations, prisoners awaiting trial are held in the same cells as convicted inmates.

Prisoners charged with serious felonies, such as federal crimes such as involvement in organized crime like drug trafficking, make up just one-fifth of the prison population.

A report by the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture in 2009 warned about structural flaws in Mexico's penal system. The current infrastructure encourages abuses of all kinds committed with the aim of obtaining confessions or self-incriminating statements.

During former Mexican President Felipe Caldern six years in office, 2006 though 2012, the already heavy use of preventive detention became even more excessive during the crusade against local drug cartels.

The "Diagnstico Nacional de Supervisin Penitenciaria," an assessment of the prison system presented by the governmental National Human Rights Commission in September, found that six out of 10 prisons in the country were co-governed to some extent by criminal groups.

The report named 10 prison hotspots in Mexico's 31 states. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, a total of 521 prisoners escaped in 14 separate attempts and 350 people were killed in two riots and 75 fights.

In particular, the Gmez Palacio Prison, which went through six different directors in less than three years, has been the site of high-profile escapes and acts of corruption.

A group of armed men wearing federal police uniforms walked into the prison in broad daylight and took five prisoners away with them in March of 2009.

In July 2010, Prison Director Margarita Rojas was arrested and accused by the attorney general's office of allowing inmates who later took part in a mass killing of 17 people on a nearby farm to leave the prison.

In addition, the guards there allowed a group of inmates to leave the prison at night, using the guards' weapons and official vehicles, to carry out reprisals against rival criminal groups.

The government of Durango announced on Dec. 21 the definitive closure of the Gmez Palacio prison, which will be converted into a police station.

Families are still desperately seeking information about what happened to the inmates.

"We are trying to help a group of women who came to us in a terrible state, in despair and full of fear for their loved ones," activist Vernica Villarreal of the Popular Workers Coordinating Council told IPS.

A version of this story was first published by Inter Press Service news agency.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Americas

The great thaw: President Obama aims to destroy the last bastion of Cold War politics, easing relations between the U.S. and Cuba Watch

Image of After more than 50 years, relations between the U.S. and Cuba are starting to normalize, bringing hope that one of the last bastions of the Cold War can be laid low.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On the heels of the White House announcement that they will be normalizing relations with Cuba-with whom the United States has had a cold relationship for decades-Cuba has announced that they will release an American that his been imprisoned there since 2009. LOS ... continue reading


'Chop-up houses' fill night air with cries of the slaughtered along Colombian riverbanks Watch

Image of Buenaventura, home to 370,000 people, is a key smuggling point for cocaine being transported by sea and overland through Central America and Mexico en route to the United States.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

At night along the riverbanks of the Colombian port city of Buenaventura, residents say they can hear people scream and plea for mercy as they are cut up with chainsaws. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gang members have been seen emerging from so-called ... continue reading


Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Woman Who Casts a Shadow Watch

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

By Deal W. Hudson

Having never been to a major Marian shrine, I didn't quite know what to expect. Some years ago, in the summer of 2004, I made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I went there, like other pilgrims, to ask for Her protection during a ... continue reading


Crazed Greenpeace activists destroy ancient Nazca lines - Peru outraged over Greenpeace publicity stunt Watch

Image of Greenpeace activists destroyed part of the ancient Nazca hummingbird, during a publicity stunt on December 8.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peru has announced that they are going to file a lawsuit against Greenpeace, whose activists damaged a national monument during a publicity stunt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The world famous Nazca lines were damaged after members of the group unfurled ... continue reading


Read the scathing words president of Uruguay has for Obama as six prisoners from Guantanamo Bay are sent to Uruguay Watch

Image of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who will leave office shortly, has made it clear that Uruguay would not hold or restrict the six Guantanamo detainees.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As part of the Obama White House's plan to finally shutter the holding tank for terrorist suspects, six suspected Al Qaeda militants are will sent from Guantanamo Bay to Uruguay. All six prisoners have been cleared for release since 2009. The United States has ... continue reading


Mexican church survives EIGHT YEARS of volcanic eruptions while surrounding town destroyed Watch

Image of The haunting images show a stark contrast between the barren ground and the holy building.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the small Mexican village of San Juan Parangaricutiro is completely buried under lava -- save for its church. The volcano in question, Volcán de Parícutin, erupted for eight straight years beginning in 1943. Is it an Act of God . or just superior ... continue reading


'I am ready to die, 'Honduran priest says of his human rights' work Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Keenly aware of the fate of his predecessor, radio marketing director Carlos Mejia Orellana stabbing death, Father Ismael Moreno says his human rights work in Honduras will continue - unabated. With Orellana's murder still unsolved seven months later, Father ... continue reading


43 Mexican students BURNED ALIVE over fears they would interrupt speech Watch

Image of The 43 students had been missing since they disappeared near the southern city of Iguala on September 26 after being attacked by police.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In dry, unemotional voices, three cartel hit men reenacted the horrific massacre of 43 Mexican students for investigators. Using twigs and trash bags, the killers told investigators how they layered the victims "like a grill" before bathing them in gasoline and ... continue reading


Illegal abortions fifth leading cause of maternal deaths in Brazil Watch

Image of An independent study by the Social Medicine Institute at Rio de Janeiro's State University showed that 155,000 women were admitted to public hospitals suffering from complications from self-induced abortions in 2013.

By Adriana Brasileiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

On Aug. 26, Jandira Magdalena dos Santos Cruz, 27, got into a white car at a bus station in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. She was supposed to be taken to a clandestine abortion clinic to terminate a 16-week pregnancy. She never came home. RIO DE JANEIRO ... continue reading


If you think ISIS is bad, just look at what's going on in Mexico Watch

Image of Those who speak out against the Mexican drug cartels often find themselves attacked, abused, or even murdered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the world-and especially the United States-remains fixated on the brutal actions and conquests of the Islamic State, few are looking closer to home to see such brutality, sometimes on a larger and more horrifying scale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter