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22 February 2024

Prisoners escape through hole in Mexico jail


Fourteen inmates broke out Monday through a hole in a wall of a jail in Mexico's most violent northern border state of Chihuahua, justice officials said.

A vehicle charged the metal gate of the Aquiles Serdan Social Rehabilitation Center to pick up the prisoners, said a statement from the state attorney general's office.

The office updated the figure from 12 to 14 escaped prisoners late Monday, and said that five had been caught, along with three suspected accomplices, following air and ground searches by police.

An anonymous source from the office said that the prisoners had exchanged gunfire with their guards, while spokesman Carlos Gonzalez denied that they were armed.

Numerous convicted drug gang members from the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez have been transferred to the rehabilitation center but Gonzalez said the escapees were not highly dangerous and had been detained for robbery and assault.

Mexican jails are notoriously overcrowded and often see deadly riots and mass breakouts, such as the escape of 151 prisoners from a jail in the northeastern border city of Nuevo Laredo last month.

The latest breakout took place just three days after an armed gang killed the head of prison guards working throughout the violent state.

More than 3,100 people were killed in suspected drug violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most deadly city, last year.