HomeNewsBriefMexico Officials Stole Millions From Troubled Prison System: Report
BRIEF

Mexico Officials Stole Millions From Troubled Prison System: Report

MEXICO / 1 NOV 2016 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

More than $2 million were reportedly diverted from Mexico's 2014 federal penitentiary budget by officials who used the money to acquire luxurious vehicles and flights, highlighting how corruption contributes to the problems in Mexico's prison system.

Mexico's federal audit institution (Auditoría Superior de la Federación – ASF) suspects that at least 38.5 million pesos were diverted from the 2014 federal penitentiary budget, reported Animal Político, citing a September 2016 request from the agency asking the Attorney General's Office to open a criminal probe into the allegations.

The diverted funds -- which currently amount to just over $2 million, but which were equivalent to more than $2.8 million based on the 2014 exchange rate -- were stolen from the budget of the Administrative Body for Prevention and Social Rehabilitation (Órgano Administrativo Desconcentrado de Prevención y Readaptación Social - OADPRS), which is part of the Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB).

Among the irregularities noted by the ASF was the acquisition of seven bulletproof pickup trucks for a total of 17 million pesos (roughly $885,000 at current exchange rates) without an established security justification. Three of these vehicles were initially not even received by the OADPRS, but were temporarily used by high-ranking officials of other SEGOB branches.

A flight service worth 1.5 million pesos (about $78,000) for SEGOB officials was also contracted with OADPRS funds due to "the urgency to transport high-ranking public servants to attend matters in federal prisons where ground transportation is complicated." But ASF points to the fact that the public contract was awarded without a bid process as required by law, and that another 20 million pesos (more than $1 million) were spent to acquire four flights for which no justification was provided.

InSight Crime Analysis

The revelations concerning the embezzlement of large sums of money from the federal penitentiary budget during a year which saw a rise in the number of prison incidents illustrate the role of corruption in contributing to Mexico's notoriously problem-plagued correctional system.

The number of attempted escapes, riots, assaults, murders and suicides reached 1,262 in 2014 and involved 2,459 inmates -- an increase of roughly 20 percent compared to the previous year. And although the government has recently made attempts to address the many flaws in the prison system, corruption could frustrate these efforts.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Prisons

One of the most embarrasing examples of how corruption undermines Mexico's prison system came in July 2015, when Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, arguably the most infamous drug lord in the world, escaped from a maximum security facility. (He was recaptured in January 2016.) Juan Ignacio Hernández Mora, who headed the OADPRS when funds were embezzled in 2014, was fired from his post along with two other high-ranking officials following El Chapo's escape.

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

ARGENTINA / 20 FEB 2019

Since beginning in Brazil with the “Operation Car Wash” (“Operação Lava Jato”) investigation in 2014, the Odebrecht corruption scandal has…

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 JAN 2021

Authorities in Mexico said they will not pursue criminal charges against a former defense minister who US prosecutors accused of…

JALISCO CARTEL / 15 FEB 2019

The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel has been behind increasing violence in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato over the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.