Mexico: mass jail-break

No, I’m not talking about the numbers of people who cross our southern border illegally every day, but a genuine escape of over 150 prisoners in Nuevo Laredo:

Mexican security forces are scrambling to catch scores of inmates who broke out of a prison near the US border in a region plagued by drug gang violence.

A total of 151 prisoners escaped on Friday from the penitentiary in Nuevo Laredo, local public security spokesman Hector Walle said, amending earlier counts that said 141 prisoners had escaped.

Investigators have said the inmates left through a service entrance for vehicles and were helped by someone in the prison staff.

The prison warden has gone missing since the breakout, which went unnoticed until a routine head count late Thursday.

I’m not surprised the warden has gone missing; Mexican prison officials are often on the take or in fear of their lives. The choice officials are given is called “plomo o plata,” lead or silver, a bullet or a bribe. For example, the warden of the prison near TorreΓ³n was letting gang members come and go to conduct assassinations. In truth, the Sinaloa cartel ran her prison, not her, not the state. I imagine the situation was similar in Nuevo Laredo.

This isn’t just a problem for the Mexican authorities. One has to wonder how many of those 150 convicts fled north across the Rio Grande into Texas.

I’ll bet the residents of nearby Laredo feel real secure, right about now.

RELATED (Kind of): The “Laredo invasion” myth.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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