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Coronavirus outbreaks are registered in several Mexican prisons

The conditions inside Mexican prisons make their populations highly vulnerable to COVID-19

Coronavirus outbreaks are registered in several Mexican prisons
COVID-19 has reached Mexican prisons - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 05/06/2020 17:26 Alexis Ortiz Mexico City Actualizada 18:12

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The new coronavirus has reached 38 Mexican prisons as of June 5 with  395 COVID-19 cases and 53 deaths, according to a report by the National Commission for Human Rights (CNDH) to which EL UNIVERSAL had access.

Moreover, the CNDH reported that there are 232 suspected cases, as well as three COVID-19-related fights or riots, and 77 recoveries.

The CNDH reported that there are 99 COVID-19 cases in Jalisco, followed by Puebla with 19, and Mexico City with 55.

The rest of the infections are distributed in Yucatán (16), the State of Mexico (16), Sinaloa (5), Tabasco (9), Quintana Roo (3), Guanajuato (1), Baja California (1), Chiapas (8), Chihuahua (21), Oaxaca (13), San Luis Potosí (1), Guerrero (5), Hidalgo (3), and Sonora (2).

12% of the prisons in Mexico have reported the organization they have at least one COVID-19 contagion, a problem that has grown during the last two weeks when an average of 16 new cases have been registered daily.

“Despite the measures implemented, some places have lost a bit of control due to several factors, including the lack of tests; not all [inmates] are tested [for COVID-19] inside the [penitentiary] centers, for instance, the prisons where tests have been performed is where more positive cases have been detected,” said the CNDH.

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The report shows that nine penitentiary centers are facing a tougher problem with COVID-19.

The list is headed by Jalisco’s Preventive Prison, followed by Puebla State Social Reintegration Center, and the Federal Center for Social Reintegration in Jalisco.

Other outbreaks are registered at the Ciudad Juárez Social Reintegration Center, the Huejotzingo District Jail, Mérida’s Social Reintegration Center, Mexico City’s Preventive Specialized Center for Teenagers, Mexico City Penitentiary, and the Mexico City Men’s Prison.

 
“The 2019 National Diagnostic of Penitentiary Monitoring gave us a perspective about the complex situation of prisons in the country, many of them have problems related to self-governance, overcrowding, and lack of healthcare; this could tell us that, with that previous analysis, there would be a complicated reality inside prisons,” said the CNDH.

It stressed that the State of Mexico has nine prisons with at least one COVID-19 positive case; Mexico City has six, Puebla four, Jalisco and Tabasco three, Quintana Roo and Oaxaca two, Baja California, Guanajuato, Chihuahua, Chiapas, San Luis Potosí, Guerrero, Hidalgo, and Sonora, one.

There are five people sick in Sinaloa and one more in the State of Mexico, but it was not specified the prison they are at.

The CNDH report, which is based on the reports issued by state authorities, adds that three female inmates are infected with the disease and the rest of those infected are males. With the current information, it is known that those inmates between 26 and 30 years old have been the most affected.

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“What we’ve observed during the last two weeks is a relevant increase [of infections]: we have high numbers and what we can see in light of the information we have is that the curve will continue,” the CNDH said.

It also showed special concern regarding the inequality of capacities of federal and state prisons to fight the new coronavirus.

“At the federal level, there was a reinforcement of medical personnel. At a state level, the number of public officers specialized to attend to the emergency is not vast; they are working with the minimum they have always had and they have made great efforts under that scheme,” it said.

To stop the infections inside prisons, the CNDH considered it necessary to monitor those who come in and out of those spaces, in addition to authorities being transparent and providing information on how COVID-19 has affected this sector of the population.

“There has not been a very specific report about the conditions of penitentiary centers so it is important to make a call to Health authorities in order to locate those spaces [with infections] because they are important for, until May, there were over 200,000 inmates.”  
The CNDH updates this information every day and shares the results on its social networks.

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