Story By: Amanda Morales, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
Prison guards have reported finding a second tunnel in three months in a Mexican jail from which 12 dangerous inmates escaped in May.
The Incident was reported on 22nd July in the Regional Center for Men’s Social Reintegration (CERERESO) in the town of Cieneguillas, located in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas.
Guards quickly reported the discovery of a tunnel inside the compound which they say they found during a routine checkup.
The hole had a height of 1.6 metres (5.25 feet) in a prison building which houses 54 men.
According to an official statement by the Secretary of Public Security, agents believe the prisoners intended to take the tunnel all the way to the local courthouse located around 3 kilometres (1.61 miles) away, although the possible motives for this location were not mentioned.
According to the statement, following the discovery of the tunnel, guards carried out a thorough search of the area, during which a 25-millimetre firearm, at least 20 cartridges, mobile phones, wooden boards, and other prohibited items were recovered.
The Secretary of Public Security, Ismael Camberos Hernandez assured that none of the prisoners had escaped this time and that investigations are being carried out to identify the of the objects found and the authors of the excavations.
Hernandez added that the hole is already being sealed and the situation inside the prison is under control.
Those who are found to be involved will appear before the Technical Council and could lose prison benefits, including the reduction of the sentence, according to Hernandez.
According to newspaper El Universo, routine inspections in the jail had been increased after 12 inmates escaped through a 50-metre (164-foot) tunnel on 6th May.
According to the national newspaper Infobae, the fugitives took advantage of the fact that construction work was being carried out in the prison to dig the tunnel, gradually removing the earth and taking it to the building site.
To date, four people have been arrested, two escaped prisoners and two people accused of providing help from the outside, one of whom is a Zacatecas state police officer.
In a public statement, director of Social Reintegration, Miguel Rivera Villa, said that the fugitives were considered “highly dangerous”, related to the Northeast and Las Zetas cartels and that several of them had been sentenced for crimes such as aggravated kidnapping, robbery and femicide.
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