Monday, January 2, 2023

14 people are killed in an armed raid on a Mexican prison

Armed attack on Mexican prison leaves 14 dead

 MEXICO'S CIUDAD JUREZ: According to the Chihuahua state prosecutors' office, on Sunday, gunmen attacked a prison in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez, killing 14 people and allowing 24 inmates to escape.

The office said in a statement that the attack involved an unknown number of gunmen aboard armored vehicles. Ten prison guards and security agents were among the dead.

The situation, which had also erupted into fighting between inmates within the sprawling state prison near Mexico's border with the United States, was managed by security forces approximately five hours after the dawn incursion began.

The statement added that armed men fired on municipal police along a nearby boulevard moments before the attack, triggering a car chase that resulted in the seizure of a vehicle and four men.

It said that later, outside the prison, assailants in a Hummer fired on another group of security agents.

As relatives of some prisoners waited outside the compound for New Year's visits, there was chaos.

Local media reported that inside, some rioting inmates fought with prison guards and set fire to various objects.

13 people were also injured, according to the prosecution, during the outbreak of violence at the prison, where inmates from various criminal bands and drug cartels are housed in separate cell blocks.

Prosecutors claimed that four people were held without specifying whether they were inmates or armed assailants.

It was not immediately clear who the 24 inmates were or how they managed to flee.

The city's prosecutors stated that they were looking into the attack's motivation. The city is located across the border from El Paso, Texas.

Over the course of the past ten years, thousands of people have been killed in violent confrontations between security forces and the rival Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels in Ciudad Juarez.

Multiple fighting and riot outbreaks have occurred within the prison, including a bloody March 2009 episode that resulted in 20 deaths.

Three prisoners were killed in a fight between rival gangs in August 2022.

The State Human Rights Commission released a report in February 2022 stating that the prison is holding over 3,700 people, which is more than its maximum capacity of 3,135 people.

During Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in February 2016, 700 inmates and their families attended a mass in the courtyard of the state prison.

The chronic overcrowding and violence that plague Mexican detention facilities, particularly those managed by the state, have intensified in recent years as a result of conflict between criminal organizations.

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