Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Mexican authorities have decided to close down the penitentiary where El Chapo’s infamous first escape took place.
The institution set to be closed is the Federal Social Readaptation Centre number 2 (Cefereso 2) “West” also known as ‘Puente Grande’ (Big Bridge) located in the city of Jalisco in the Mexican state with the same name.
The decision was announced by the Federal Government in an Official Journal of the Federation on Monday, 28th September.
The prison is where Joaquin ‘El Chapo’Guzman Loera infamously escaped after bribing a guard who opened his cell door allowing him to sneak out of the prison in a laundry car on 19th January 2001.
Some inmates have been moved to different prisons while others remain in the centre waiting to be moved which is determined by the Social Readaptation and Prevention Commission.
They are being moved to the states of Coahuila and Michoacan and other locations but it has not been specified where.
According to local newspaper La Jornada, the latest report stated there were 459 prisoners being kept in Cefereso 2 in early July of this year.
However, that number dropped to 376 by the end of this September. The number is only a fraction of the 1,040 people the prison is designed to keep.
Officials decided to close the prison after dwindling conditions and because the federal penitentiary system has a reported 17,000 unused spaces across eight centres.
According to a statement made by the government, the decision comes by the Ministry of Security and the Citizens Protection.
They aim to “modernise the Federal Penitentiary System” by “optimising the infrastructure”, generating funds as well as an “administration that benefits the prison population.”
Security in the prison “was reduced to a point where some of the cells do not have handles” and “some groups placed the institutional stability within the prison at risk” according to ‘La Jornada’.
There have been no further reports on a time frame of when the prison is expected to be completely vacated which is when the Ministry of Security will decide what to do with the installations.
Another famous prisoner that was kept in the centre was the notorious Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo alias ‘The Godfather’ who lead the Guadalajara Cartel in the 70s. He was arrested for the murder of American Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena.
The centre consisted of a federal penitentiary, two preventative prisons (one for males and another for females) and a local jail.
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