Tuesday 26 February 2013

Corrupt Sonora prison officials busted after five inmates escape

The price of freedom in Sonora? About $78k
The attorney general’s office for the northern Mexican state of Sonora (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado, or “PGJE”) has arrested nine high-level functionaries within the State Prison System.

The arrested men are accused of assisting in the escape of the five inmates with false documents.

At a press conference the head of the PGJE, Carlos Navarro Sugich, said that two of the criminals had been re-arrested, and that the other three were still at large.

As part of the scheme the prison employees, who were charged with both judicial and security responsibilities,  planned and designed a system in which the inmates, considered highly dangerous, could be set free in exchange for cash payments.

The arrested officlas include the General Counsel of the State Prison System and four former paralegals. As well, a former official in the Social Rehabilitation Center at the Hermosillo I facility (Centro de Readaptación Social Hermosillo I), two security officers, and a criminal ringleader were taken into custody.

More arrests are likely on the way, including possibly the deputy director of criminal law at Hermosillo I, a former legal assistant, and another former security official.

The five inmates were released from Hermosillo I as a result of a sophisticated scam in which the prisoner registration system was falsified. The prisoners allegedly paid at least a million pesos, about US$78,000, for their freedom.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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