Mexico: shake-up in wake of Zacatecas jailbreak

Nearly a week after dozens of inmates walked out of a prison in Zacatecas, the central Mexican state’s top security official, Public Security Secretary Alejandro Rojas Chalico, resigned May 22. Authorities are still trying to track down the 53 prisoners who left Cieneguillas prison in the city of Zacatecas May 16 with the help of 20 men as prison guards stood by. (CNN, May 22)

Meanwhile, a Zacatecas federal senator at the center of an drug scandal temporarily stepped down May 20, saying he welcomed an investigation he expects will clear his name. Coming six weeks before national midterm elections, the allegations involving 14 1/2 tons of marijuana found on property belonging to the senator’s family have inflamed public suspicions that many politicians are in league with the drug cartels.

Sen. Ricardo Monreal acknowledges the warehouse is owned by one his brothers, but claims the marijuana was planted by political rivals. Monreal is a former governor of Zacatecas, and another brother, David, is mayor of Fresnillo, the city where the warehouse is located—and a likely candidate in elections for the governorship next year. (LAT, May 21)

See our last post on Zacatecas and Mexico’s narco wars.

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