Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Friday, May 22, 2009

 

53 Inmates Walk Out Of Prison Guards Don't Act Until Getaway Vehicles Drive Off

53 Inmates Walk Out Of Prison On Video

Guards Don't Act Until Getaway Vehicles Drive Off

JULIE WATSON, Associated Press Writer

 

POSTED: 1:35 pm MDT May 21, 2009
UPDATED: 3:02 am MDT May 22, 2009


MEXICO CITY -- Security camera footage shows that guards at a Mexican prison nonchalantly stood by as 53 dangerous inmates walked out -- and didn't rush into action with their guns drawn until well after their convoy of escape vehicles had disappeared into the inky night.

 

The footage, first published by Reforma newspaper Thursday and then released publicly by the Attorney General's Office, provides a rare inside look at lax security inside Mexico's prisons, a problem that makes prosecuting drug smugglers vastly more difficult. Interpol described the worst of the criminals, who escaped without firing a shot, as "a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world."

 

Interpol issued an international security alert for 11 of the prisoners involved in the 2-minute-and-52-second prison break Saturday in Cieneguillas, in the northern state of Zacatecas

About a dozen of the prisoners were drug cartel suspects. Several had been jailed for kidnapping, said Ricardo Najera, a spokesman for the Attorney General's Office.

 

The inmates stole 23 guns from a prison storage room before escaping, Najera said.

 

The video shows bored-looking guards watching TV before one of the prisoners opens a gate to his cell block and then orders a group of inmates to follow him into the guards' room. It is unclear if the prisoner had a key to the cell block or if the gate was unlocked.

 

The guards step aside, making no moves to stop the escape, until they are shoved into the cell block by the inmates, some of whom are armed.

 

Prisoners then cover the camera with a blanket.

 

Meanwhile, a second security camera outside the prison filmed the arrival of gunmen in police cars with flashing lights shortly before 5 a.m. Two guards run to open the front gate without questioning the drivers.

 

Eight gunmen wearing jackets with federal police insignia then enter the prison building and escort the inmates to the cars waiting in the prison parking lot. After they are gone, one guard with his hands bound by plastic luggage ties is seen walking calmly down an empty hall.

 

Only after the convoy is well out of the picture can guards be seen running toward the gate, some crouching with their guns drawn. Reforma added in a caption that the guards appeared to overacting for the cameras, "in Jim Carrey style."

 

Najera said 51 people have been ordered jailed for 30 days pending an investigation into their possible involvement, including the director of the prison and all 44 guards on duty during the escape.

 

He said only 15 of the fugitives had been convicted, and that it was illegal to keep them in the same cell block as the 38 whose cases were pending. The prison director was being questioned about why the 53 were kept together, Najera said.

 

Najera said the police uniforms the gunmen were wearing were either outdated or fakes, and the vehicles they came in were not real police cars. Investigators, however, have not ruled out the possibility federal police involvement.

 

Interpol said Mexican authorities identified 11 as the most dangerous of the 53 escapees. The alert -- an "orange notice" -- provides identifying details for each fugitive to all 187 member countries of the Lyon, France-based international police agency.

 

The government is offering up to 3 million pesos ($230,000) for information leading up to capture of any of the gunmen and 1 million pesos ($77,000) for the fugitives, Najera said.

 

Two of the fugitives had been arrested on Jan. 22 by soldiers who seized 11.4 tons of marijuana at a chile-drying warehouse that belongs to the brother of Sen. Ricardo Monreal of Zacatecas, Najera said.

 

Monreal has temporarily stepped down to cooperate with the investigation, although Najera said he is not considered a suspect in the case and has not been questioned.

 

Mexico has struggled to reduce corruption and ineptitude in its justice system. President Felipe Calderon has acknowledged that jailed drug traffickers often operate from behind bars, and has extradited a record number of traffickers to serve time in more secure U.S. prisons.

 

Two prison guards are serving up to 19 years for aiding the escape of Mexico's most-wanted drug lord, alleged Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. He rode out of federal prison in Jalisco state in a laundry cart after bribing guards in 2001.

 

And Otto Roberto Herrera Garcia, who helped turn Guatemala into a corridor for U.S.-bound cocaine, escaped in May 2005 from a jail in southern Mexico City. That jail's warden, his deputy and 10 others were arrested for allegedly accepting bribes to facilitate his freedom.

 

____

 

Associated Press Writer Alexandra Olson in Mexico City contributed to this story


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

Archives

January 2021   December 2020   November 2020   October 2020   September 2020   August 2020   July 2020   June 2020   May 2020   April 2020   March 2020   February 2020   January 2020   December 2019   November 2019   October 2019   September 2019   August 2019   July 2019   June 2019   May 2019   April 2019   March 2019   February 2019   January 2019   December 2018   November 2018   October 2018   September 2018   August 2018   July 2018   June 2018   May 2018   April 2018   March 2018   February 2018   January 2018   December 2017   November 2017   October 2017   September 2017   August 2017   July 2017   June 2017   May 2017   April 2017   March 2017   February 2017   January 2017   December 2016   November 2016   October 2016   September 2016   August 2016   July 2016   June 2016   May 2016   April 2016   March 2016   February 2016   January 2016   December 2015   November 2015   October 2015   September 2015   August 2015   July 2015   June 2015   May 2015   April 2015   March 2015   February 2015   January 2015   December 2014   November 2014   October 2014   September 2014   August 2014   July 2014   June 2014   May 2014   April 2014   March 2014   February 2014   January 2014   December 2013   November 2013   October 2013   September 2013   August 2013   July 2013   June 2013   May 2013   April 2013   March 2013   February 2013   January 2013   December 2012   November 2012   October 2012   September 2012   August 2012   July 2012   June 2012   May 2012   April 2012   March 2012   February 2012   January 2012   December 2011   November 2011   October 2011   September 2011   August 2011   July 2011   June 2011   May 2011   April 2011   March 2011   February 2011   January 2011   December 2010   November 2010   October 2010   September 2010   August 2010   July 2010   June 2010   May 2010   April 2010   March 2010   February 2010   January 2010   December 2009   November 2009   October 2009   September 2009   August 2009   July 2009   June 2009   May 2009   April 2009   March 2009   February 2009   January 2009   December 2008  

Powered by Lottery PostSyndicated RSS FeedSubscribe