Mexico: prison seized by army after uprising

The death toll after an attempted prison break in north-central Mexico’s Durango state on Dec. 18 has risen to at least 23. Nine guards and 14 inmates were killed in clashes at the Social Reinsertion Center (CERESO) Number 2 in the city of Gómez Palacio. The facility’s guards fired in the air to stop the jailbreak, and prisoners returned fire at the watchtowers and guard areas. Authorities are now investigating how the prisoners got hold of the weapons. The CERESO has been seized by the military, and the prisoners all relocated while the investigation is underway. CERESO Number 2 also made headlines in 2010 when the facility’s warden was himself imprisoned after it emerged that inmates were allowed to borrow weapons from guards and leave the prison at night to carry out murders against gangland rivals. (La Jornada, Dec. 20; LAT, Dec. 19; Global Post, Dec. 18)

Mexico has seen a wave of prison riots and jailbreaks in recent months.