Officials held after Mexico jail violence

2012-02-23 11:24
Monterrey - The director of a Mexican prison and 28 guards have been arrested on suspicion of helping a mass breakout and massacre by drug gang members at the weekend, authorities said on Wednesday.

Thirty inmates with links to the Zetas drug gang escaped from the Apodaca jail, near the northern city of Monterrey, during the unrest on Sunday while 44 prisoners from the rival Gulf cartel were killed, according to authorities.

Adrian de la Garza, the prosecutor for Nuevo Leon state, said that along with the prison's director, the deputy director and head of security had also been detained. Nine guards had already admitted taking part in the breakout.

There were further disturbances in the jail on Tuesday night after authorities announced the transfer of three Zetas gang members to another prison.

The inmates were finally transferred early on Wednesday to a federal jail in western Mexico.

The violence was one of the deadliest episodes in an increasing number of jail riots and breakouts in Mexico.

The prison population in Mexico and Central America has swollen in line with a crackdown by regional governments on a rise in drug-trafficking and related crimes.

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