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Caribbean-Latin America
24 die in Durango in failed prison escape

For a map, click here. For a map of Coahuila state, click here For a map of Durango state, click here. THIRD UPDATE with a new death toll. You can watch a video in Spanish here

By Chris Covert

A total of 15 inmates and nine trustees were shot to death in a failed escape attempt in a prison in far eastern Durango state Tuesday, according to Mexican news and Twitter reports.

According to a news item posted on the website of Milenio news daily, the shooting and escape attempt took place at the Centro de Readaptacion Social Number Two (CERESO) in Gomez Palacio, Durango at around 1700 hrs.

According to the news item, gunfire was exchanged between a criminal group and prison guards as inmates attempted to jump a back fence. Guards were fired on, prompting return fire which killed nine prison trustees and 15 inmates.

A Mexican Army element which was nearby assisted in retaking control of the prison.

A dispatch which appeared on the website of Animal Politico Tuesday evening noted that the prison itself had been inspected by an unit of the Policia Federal as part of Laguna Seguro security operation, starting Sunday night and ending Monday morning. The raid found several contraband items including shanks, cell phones and other items. The search was initiated at the request of Mexico's Comision Nacional Derechos Humanos (CNDH), or human rights commission.

Durango's CERESO Number Two was the prison where in 2010 prison officials colluded with inmates to stage armed attacks outside the prison on facilities operated by Los Zetas drug cartel. Included in those attacks was the infamous attack on a party at Quinta Italia in Torreon in Coahuila just across the Durango border, which killed 17 party goers.

The group was also responsible for at least two other attacks in the La Laguna area, which killed at least 16 individuals .

La Laguna encompasses Torreon, Coahuila, Gomez Palacio and Ciudad Lerdo in Durango. Laguna Seguro ended less than three weeks ago in the area, but Durango state has begun operating a separate security operation in Gomez Palacio in cooperation with the Mexican Army, and now, apparently the Policia Federal, now a sub agency of the Mexican national Secretaria de Gobierno, or interior ministry.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for
Posted by:badanov