HomeNewsBriefMexico Prison Deaths Show Endemic Problems, Criminal Conflicts
BRIEF

Mexico Prison Deaths Show Endemic Problems, Criminal Conflicts

MEXICO / 10 JUL 2017 BY PARKER ASMANN EN

A violent outbreak between rival gangs in a Mexico prison in the embattled state of Guerrero that left dozens of inmates dead reflects the fight for the local criminal market and the devastating consequences of official disregard for safety inside the prisons. 

A battle between rival gangs on July 6, left 28 dead and 3 injured in the maximum security wing of Mexico's Las Cruces penitentiary, located in the beach resort town of Acapulco, Proceso reported

The prison's director, Miguel Ángel Gómez Garduño, has since been dismissed while four more of the jail's employees are under investigation, reported Animal Político. Officials are also investigating three prisoners who allegedly orchestrated and participated in the events with help from prison officials. 

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

The fighting allegedly broke out after a territorial dispute over control of the prison between two jail-based gangs, Los Juanitos and Los Arnolds, Digital Guerrero reported. The prison is reportedly the center of operations for the Independent Acapulco Cartel (Cártel Independiente de Acapulco), according to Proceso.

Twenty other prisoners who reportedly escaped during the battle have not yet been located, reported Proceso.

InSight Crime Analysis 

In Mexico, a slang word often used for prison is "el bote," which directly translated means trash. Although anecdotal, the reference illustrates social attitudes towards those in prison, as well as those of the authorities.

The Las Cruces massacre will not have come as a surprise, especially to government officials directly involved in its running. At least seven incidents of "violence, illegality and abandonment" have been documented since 2011, security analyst Alejandro Hope wrote in El Universal. Las Cruces was, Hope says, a "horror that was growing for years."

Built for just under 1,550 people, it held more than 2,300 at the time that the July 6 incident took place. And in 2016, the prison was red-flagged as one of Guerrero's most problematic prisons by the National Human Rights Commission's (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos - CNDH) National Diagnostic of Penitentiary Supervision.

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Prisons

Guerrero has been consumed by drug-related violence in recent years, and since the demise of the Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO), it has been contested by dozens of smaller criminal groups vying for control of the local drug consumption market. The penitentiaries, and the city of Acapulco -- where Las Cruces is based -- has seen some of the highest rates of violence in the country in recent years.

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

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories…

DISPLACEMENT / 3 MAR 2022

Without the bodies, the exact number of people executed in broad daylight at a funeral in Mexico's western state of…

GUATEMALA / 8 DEC 2021

A transnational labor trafficking network brought dozens of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico to the United States under the…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…