Mexican Jail Guards ‘Let Gang Inmates Out To Kill’
Mexican prison guards allowed inmates to walk out of jail with borrowed guns and drive away in official cars so they could carry out drug-related killings, according to authorities.
(SKY NEWS) Following the murders, which included a massacre at a private party last week, the criminals dutifully returned to their cells, Mexico’s attorney general’s office claimed.
Four staff – including a prison director – have been placed under a form of house arrest while investigations continue, but no one has yet been charged.
“According to witnesses, the inmates were allowed to leave with authorisation of the prison director … to carry out instructions for revenge attacks using official vehicles and using guards’ weapons for executions,” office spokesman Ricardo Najera said.
“Unfortunately, the criminals also carried out cowardly killings of innocent civilians, only to return to their cells.”
The inmate gang with suspected links to drug cartels is accused of killing more than 30 people in three separate shooting sprees.
In one attack, 17 people died when gunmen stormed a party in the city of Torreon and opened fired at random.
Unfortunately, the criminals also carried out cowardly killings of innocent civilians, only to return to their cells.
Ricardo Najera, spokesman for Mexico’s attorney general’s office
Police tests matched bullet casings found at the scene to four assault rifles assigned to guards at the nearby Gomez Palacio prison, Mr Najera said.
Similar investigations linked the guns to earlier killings at two bars in Torreon, the capital of northern Coahuila state.
At least 16 people were killed in those shootings on February 1 and May 15.
Interior Secretary Francisco Blake said the revelation “can only be seen as a wake-up call for authorities to address, once again, the state of deterioration in many local law enforcement institutions … we cannot allow this kind of thing to happen again”.
Much of the violence in Mexico is blamed on rival drug cartels, who continue to fight for the control of lucrative smuggling routes through the country.
More than 26,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on the gangs in late 2006.
The prison announcement came after the arrest of the man described by authorities as one of the country’s top drug gang members.
Luis Vazquez Barragan is alleged to be from the La Linea group, which is an arm of the Juarez cartel.
The 39-year-old is suspected of organising payments, moving drugs and overseeing a system of safe houses in and around Ciudad Juarez.