Mary Islands, from federal prison to cultural center

This prison has a history of harsh punishments, torture, repression, and human rights violations

Mary Islands, from federal prison to cultural center
The federal prison located in the Mary islands - Photo: Fernando Ramírez/EL UNIVERSAL
English 19/02/2019 14:41 Alberto Morales / Enviado Mexico City Actualizada 16:47
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President López Obrador signed a decree that establishes that the Mary Islands will stop being a federal prison and become a cultural center and a camping area that will focus teaching ecology to children.

During his daily press conference, the President said that he traveled to the islands last weekend, along with the Nayarit and Sinaloa Governors, the heads of Public Security, National Defense, Navy, Environment, and Tourism ministries and Francisco Garduño, the head of the prison system.

He said that he himself announced his decision to the prisoners.

The President explained that there are 600 non-dangerous prisoners on the island. He announced that 200 prisoners will be released and the other 400 are going to be relocated to prisons closer to their homes.

“The workers on the island will be relocated. The islands will become a center for art, culture, and the knowledge of the environment, as well as the islands around, such as the Cleofas island, it will be for children and young people,” said the President.

López Obrador said that this project will pay homage to the writer José Revueltas, who was imprisoned there two times and he also claimed that it's a homage to Nelson Mandela, who was also imprisoned in a South African island. Revueltas was inspired by the place and later wrote a novel “Los Muros de Agua” (Water Walls).

The Environment Minister, Josefa Gonzáles, said that the island will host camps for children and young people through cultural programs, as well as an environmental ethics program.

The prison in the Mary islands was created in 1905 by President Porfirio Díaz. It was based on the French prisons of that time. This prison has a history of harsh punishments, torture, repression, and human rights violations.


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