Saturday 2 February 2013

As country mourns and prisoners riot, Peña Nieto heads to the beach - then rushes back to Mexico City

An Apache helicopter has been deployed at Islas Marias

Directly after declaring a three day period of national mourning, and as rescuers fight against the clock in the search for survivors of the Pemex explosion in Mexico City, Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of Mexico, has decided to head to the beach.

The President, along with his family, arrived Friday night at Puerto Vallarta’s international airport. From there they went north to Punta Mita, where they plan to stay at the luxury St. Regis hotel until February 5.

As the news broke on social media, Peña Nieto rushed back to Mexico City late on Saturday for a photo op at the site of the disaster. It is unknown at present if he will be returning to Punta Mita.

Just off the coast from Punta Mita are the Marías Islands, home to one of the last island prison complexes in the world, where on Saturday, February 2, it was reported that 600 inmates had rebelled against mistreatment by authorities. There are 8,000 inmates on total.

The inmates wanted improved conditions and better treatment, primarily more and better food. They rioted and set mattresses on fire; as a result, six prison guards were injured and transferred to hospital in Mazatlan. One had burns to 60% of his body. At present the situation is under control, with an Apache helicopter having been deployed for aerial surveillance.

Meanwhile in Mexico City, the drama continues in Pemex. There is no news of survivors, but officials believe there could still be ten bodies in Pemex’s “B2” building. Officially, there are four missing persons.

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

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

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