HomeNewsBriefMexico Deadly Inmate Riot Underscores Poor Prison Conditions
BRIEF

Mexico Deadly Inmate Riot Underscores Poor Prison Conditions

MEXICO / 5 JAN 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

A prison riot in the northern state of Tamaulipas left at least 31 people dead and at least another 13 wounded, pointing to the problem of overcrowding and violence in prisons throughout the region. 

The inmate fight broke out in a medium security prison built to house 2,000 inmates, but actually houses 3,000 men and women, according to La Jornada

InSight Crime Analysis

Problems like riots, mass breakouts and even prison takeovers affect penitenciaries across the region, from Mexico to Venezuela to El Salvador. 

Part of the problem is that improving prison conditions is a low priority for governments struggling to improve security. For governments looking to show voters that they are taking action to lower crime rates, spending money on prison reform can incite public anger. In Peru, when the government tried to take steps to expand an overcrowded prison last December, the local town held a week of violent protests.

This is an isolated example, but it explains in part why prison reform is a tough political issue for any government to take on. It is particularly difficult in Latin America where governments may have limited resources and must prioritize improving citizen security by other means. Consequently, prison systems in Mexico and elsewhere remain neglected, overcrowded and prone to violence and abuse. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 15 JUN 2022

El Salvador has arrested over 40,000 alleged gang members. This seems shocking but it is not without precedent in the…

GUATEMALA / 4 FEB 2022

A former Guatemala mayor and his family have been accused of smuggling more than a dozen migrants later massacred in…

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 SEP 2021

Evidence and accusations are piling up against Mexico's former top security official Genaro García Luna, as US prosecutors proffer new…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…