Gunmen Break Two Minors out of Prison
(Zacatecas, Zacatecas, 21 September) Armed men invade the Juvenile Detention Center in Zacatecas on Tuesday, carrying away two inmates. They arrived in five luxury SUV’s (commonly called “narco-wagons”), and engineered the escape of two minors, presumably members of their gang or cartel. The two had been incarcerated for federal crimes. The detention center is on the road between Zacatecas and Guadalajara, on the Malpaso-Villanueva segment.
Federal troops and local police were dispatched to the scene to resecure the facility. Elements were sent to bolster security at another juvenile facility in the area.
Security in criminal detention facilities is increasingly challenging within Mexico. On Monday, 32 prisoners escaped from a prison in Veracruz, 14 of which were recaptured within hours. According to officials, organized crime recruits juveniles for their work, as the penalties are less severe, the facilities less secure, and the youths are satisfied with less payment. Federal deputies Arturo Santana and Arturo Zamora estimate that between 23,000 and 30,000 minors have been recruited into criminal gangs since 2006.
Jails in Mexico suffer from overcrowding. Today the 429 penal institutions confine 223,000 prisoners, which means they are at 122% of capacity.