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Mexico plans to build eight prisons


Mexico City : Mexico plans to build eight new federal correctional facilities this year capable of housing 47,000 highly dangerous prisoners following last weekend’s massacre of 44 inmates at a state penitentiary.

The project will cost 32.82 billion pesos (some $2.55 billion) and also include construction of six social rehabilitation centers for inmates, said Government Secretary Alejandro Poire.

The main goal is to relocate prisoners behind bars for federal offenses such as drug trafficking and organized crime, many of whom are currently housed at overcrowded state penitentiaries.

Early Sunday, members of the Los Zetas drug cartel killed 44 prisoners purportedly linked to the Gulf drug cartel at a state penitentiary in the northern city of Apodaca, Nuevo Leon state. The victims were fatally stabbed with sharp objects, stoned or bludgeoned to death.

A total of 30 Zetas, including some leaders of the drug mob in Nuevo Leon, took advantage of the tumult to escape and some prison authorities, including the warden and deputy warden, were found to have been complicit in the massacre and breakout.

The Apodaca prison was plagued by overcrowding and most of the escaped prisoners, 25, were behind bars for “federal offenses”, including organized crime and drug trafficking, while the remaining five were being held for violations of state law, Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina said Monday.

On Tuesday, three inmates at the Topochico facility, also located in Nuevo Leon, were killed by other prisoners just hours after their arrival.

“If we have a problem of a certain number of federal inmates in a prison, we’re helping … to ensure that those inmates can be placed in tighter security prisons,” Poire said.

These incidents occur when “criminals try to take control of prisons where for decades sufficient investment has not been made”, Poire said.