More spectacular violence, deeper cracks in the Mexican state, and a fresh tragedy today as the drug war trudges on:
Imprisoned members of the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel stabbed and bludgeoned 44 members of the rival Gulf cartel to death and then staged a mass escape, apparently with the help of prison authorities, officials in northern Mexico said Monday.
Rodrigo Medina, governor of the northern state of Nuevo Leon, said the prison’s director and three other officials have been fired and are under investigation for purportedly helping in the escape. The same was done with 18 prison guards.
All 2,500 inmates in the prison were incarcerated for federal crimes, and as many as 70 percent had yet to be convicted. The inmate population there grew by 1,500 in the last year to 180 percent of capacity, the result of a crackdown on organized crime and drug trafficking in the last year.
The article goes on to cite a long list of prison riots, breakouts, and massacres in recent years, including this incident in Juarez last July, which was caught on surveillance tape.
The riot comes only days after a horrific prison fire left more than 350 dead in Honduras.
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