14 people have been killed in an armed attack on a prison in Mexico

14 people have been killed in an armed attack on a prison in Mexico

14 people have been killed in an armed attack on a prison in Mexico

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Ciudad Juarez (Mexico) (AFP) – At least 14 people, including 10 guards, were killed in an armed attack on a prison in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on the border with the United States, from which at least 24 prisoners escaped, local authorities said on Sunday.

“We have recorded the killing of 14 people, including 10 security and prison control personnel, and the arrest of four people, in addition to 13 wounded and at least 24 fugitives,” the Chihuahua State Attorney General’s Office (North) said. said in a statement.

The attack was carried out at dawn when gunmen arrived in armored vehicles and opened fire on the guards.

At the same time, the families of some inmates were waiting to enter the prison to visit their relatives for the New Year celebrations.

According to the findings of the investigation, the aim of the attack was to make it easier for a group of prisoners to escape.

Prosecutors added that police, with the help of the army, arrested four people without specifying whether they were escaped detainees or attackers.

revolt

Local media reported that some prisoners had started a riot in the prison by setting fire to several items and clashing with the guards.

Relatives of prisoners gather in front of the Ciudad Juarez prison in Mexico on January 1, 2023.
Relatives of prisoners gather in front of the Ciudad Juarez prison in Mexico on January 1, 2023. © Erica Martinez/AP

She added that the shooting caused panic among residents outside the prison and the mayor’s office asked them not to go near the area.

Prosecutors said the security forces managed to bring the situation in the prison under control about five hours after the attack.

The prison in this northern Mexican city houses members of armed branches of the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels, who have been vying for control of the city for more than 15 years.

This prison has witnessed many clashes and riots, one of which resulted in the deaths of twenty people in March 2009. In August 2022, a clash between rival gangs killed three prisoners.

In February 2016, as part of his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the courtyard of this prison before 700 prisoners and their families, calling on them not to give up hope and to help end the violence.

Mexican soldiers stand around the Ciudad Juarez prison in Mexico on January 1, 2023.
Mexican soldiers stand around the Ciudad Juarez prison in Mexico on January 1, 2023. © Erica Matinez/AP

According to a report by the National Commission for Human Rights last February, this prison houses more than 3,700 people, while its capacity does not exceed 3,135.

This prison is under the authority of the Chihuahua state government. Two years ago, the federal penitentiary Ciudad Juárez, where Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” was held before his extradition to the US in 2017, was closed due to poor prison conditions.

Prisons in Mexico, particularly those run by the states, suffer from chronic problems of overcrowding and violence, exacerbated by fighting between criminal groups in recent years.

According to official figures, since a controversial anti-drug operation began in December 2006, Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 murders, most of which are attributed to criminal organizations.


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