Monday, July 26, 2010

Mexican Corruption Complicates Drug War

While Mexican authorities would love to pin the violent drug war on an eager and large base of American drug users, those same Mexican authorities need to take a fast and hard look at the rampant corruption within Mexican institutions including the prison system.

After all, it wasn't American guns or American drug users that led prison guards to release and arm drug thugs to go on a murderous rampage that left 17 people dead.

Those drug thugs were already incarcerated until the prison guards and officials released them and armed them.
Guards and officials at a prison in northern Mexico allegedly let inmates out, lent them guns and allowed them to use official vehicles to carry out drug-related killings, including the massacre of 17 people last week, prosecutors said Sunday.

After carrying out the killings the inmates would return to their cells, the Attorney General's Office said in a revelation that was shocking even for a country wearied by years of drug violence and corruption.

"According to witnesses, the inmates were allowed to leave with authorization of the prison director ... to carry out instructions for revenge attacks using official vehicles and using guards' weapons for executions," office spokesman Ricardo Najera said at a news conference.

The director of the prison in Gomez Palacio in Durango state and three other officials were placed under a form of house arrest pending further investigation. No charges have yet been filed.

Prosecutors said the prison-based hit squad is suspected in three mass shootings, including the July 18 attack on a party in the city of Torreon, which is near Gomez Palacio. In that incident, gunmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd of mainly young people in a rented hall, killing 17 people, including women.

Police found more than 120 bullet casings at the scene, and Najera said tests matched those casings to four assault rifles assigned to guards at the prison.
Mexico incarcerates less than 2% of the criminals it arrests, and even then this news is troublesome in that the revolving door justice is not only working, but there are elements in the prison system that are actively aiding and abetting further criminal activities.

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