HomeNewsBriefLatest Jailbreak Points to Weakness of Mexico’s Prison System
BRIEF

Latest Jailbreak Points to Weakness of Mexico’s Prison System

EL CHAPO / 17 MAR 2017 BY LEONARDO GOI EN

The son of a prominent Mexican drug cartel leader has escaped prison less than two months after being captured, highlighting the country's inability to keep criminals behind bars.

Juan José Esparragoza Monzón, alias "El Negro," escaped from a Sinaloan state penitentiary in Culiacán on March 16, reported Animal Politico. Esparragoza Monzón is the son of Juan Esparragoza Moreno, known as "El Azul," a powerful leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, the drug trafficking organization formerly led by the legendary kingpin Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán who extradited to the United States in January.

Authorities believe Esparragoza Monzón has been working for the Sinaloa cartel for the past twenty years, under the instructions of his father. Reports indicate that El Azul has personally mediated some of the violent feuds between drug clans in the country, while his son allegedly worked as a financial operator for the cartel and was responsible for managing one of the group's drug trafficking routes, Animal Politico was told.

SEE ALSO: Sinaloa Cartel News and Profile

Esparragoza Monzón was captured on January 19, 2017. His name figured in the list of the government's 122 most wanted criminals, yet he managed to escape maximum security detention by successfully appealing to a federal district judge.

Security forces are currently trying to locate the fugitive, and the four other convicts who escaped with him. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Esparragoza Monzón's prison break shows further evidence that Mexican authorities are unable to guarantee criminals will serve the sentences they are given.

The fact that El Negro allegedly appeared on the government's hit-list and was nonetheless allowed to escape maximum security poses serious questions about whether or not Mexico's judicial system is up to its task. Commenting on the appeal made by Esparragoza Monzón to the district judge, the governor of Sinaloa, Gonzalo Gómez Flores, acknowledged the need to "revise the criteria with which these permissions are granted [to prisoners]."

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

His escape also lends more credit to the argument that Mexico should extradite high profile criminals to the United States to face justice.

To be sure, Esparragoza Monzón's prison break is not the first to be recorded in the country, and certainly not the most famous. Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was sent to prison three times and escaped twice, first in 2001 and then in 2015, via a tunnel built underneath his cell in the Altiplano maximum security penitentiary. Authorities resisted extraditing the kingpin after his first capture, but handed him over in January this year after his second escape proved one of the biggest embarassments so far for President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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

PRISONS / 23 AUG 2016

A newspaper investigation exposed how a prison in Venezuela has become a thriving marketplace for the basic goods in short…

JALISCO CARTEL / 20 MAY 2015

A shootout between Mexico's federal police and alleged criminals has left at least eight dead in Jalisco state, in what…

MEXICO / 8 DEC 2011

With a few months before Mexico's presidential election campaigns kick off, President Felipe Calderon has warned that criminal groups could…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.