14 | NOV | 2019
Violence between drug cartels moves from the streets to Mexico City’s prison
Illegal businesses inside prisons generate millionaire profits – Photo: Hugo García/EL UNIVERSAL

Violence between drug cartels moves from the streets to Mexico City’s prison

13/09/2019
16:55
Mexico City
David Fuentes & Kevin Ruiz
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A violent confrontation between Unión Tepito and the criminal group headed by “El Duke” took place in Mexico City's Reclusorio Oriente prison

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The dispute between Unión Tepito and the criminal group headed by “El Duke” for the control of drug trafficking has moved to Mexico City’s Prison System; yesterday in Reclusorio Oriente prison there was a clash between inmates that left one person killed and eight injured.

According to Mexico City’s authorities, these groups are responsible for leaving human remains and threatening messages against the custodians of the prison.

Investigations refer that illegal businesses inside prisons generate millionaire profits. Just last Tuesday, a 69 years-old woman was caught and arrested with MXN $100,000 in cash she meant to take out of the prison inside a sanitary pad. The woman confessed that she had done the same thing every visit day.

Local authorities have detected at least five women acting in the same way in several prisons of Mexico City, according to information of the investigation file FGAM/GAM-4/UI-1C/ D/3222/09-2019, which was opened last September 10th.
 

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In Reclusorio Oriente prison, with an estimated population of 9,000 inmates, the situation worsened with the arrival of Roberto Moyado Esparza, “EL Betito,” and Daniel García Ramírez, “El Pistache,” leaders of Unión Tepito, who have taken over the control of the jail, deriving in a confrontation between the prisoners of Enclosure 7 and dorms 3 and 6.

Authorities reported that the fight took place at 11:00, causing one death and eight injured, who were taken to Xoco and Belisario Domínguez hospitals due to injuries with knives. Two others were severely beaten in different parts of the body.

The initial assessment revealed that approximately 40 prisoners participated in the fight, of which it is known that a big group from Enclosure 7 headed to dorm 3 carrying edged and bladed weapons.

In their way, they found some custodians and inmates from dorm 6, where the battle royal started, and nearly 30 custodians were needed to control the situation, as explained by the assistant secretary of the Prison System, Hazael Ruiz.
 

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They asked for the presence of tactical elements of the Citizen Security Ministry, an agency that deployed an operation of almost 500 officers from the Zorro, GOES, and Thanatos groups. They feared the situation could get out of control since it was visit day.

According to the testimony of an inmate’s relative, “a group of prisoners told us that we could not leave because there was a riot (…) so we stayed there for about half an hour.

“We began to make questions and they told us there was a fight between cartels. When we left, we saw confined prisoners, or upside down. But they say they jumped and started to run,” said a woman who went to visit a relative

Sources of Mexico City’s Attorney General said that yesterday’s riot is part of a number of actions that have been taking place, such as the fire of August 15 in dorm 6 which left three people dead; as well as threats against the executive director of Prison Security, Pablo López Jaramillo.

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In that regard, the minister of the Interior, Rosa Icela Rodríguez, announced the turnover of administrative and operative staff, as well as custodians, to prevent more conflicts. She clarified that the movements are due to strategy and not for corruption.

“We are working to perform a digital control of the procedures so as to prevent corruption. Currently, one of them is on the go. We have implemented actions so that those deprived of their freedom can charge for prison work through electronic cards in order to end with the discretional management of payroll payments. Until now, they have made the turnover of 98% of structural administrative leads,” she commented in a news conference.

She highlighted that from the beginning of the current administration, authorities have worked to keep control of prisons in Mexico City, to end with powerful groups and acts of corruption. In addition, she says that since last December 5th, 170 inmates classified as highly dangerous have been moved to federal prisons, while in 2010 only 10 prisoners were relocated.

The objective of the relocations, she said, is to guarantee the security and peace of the whole prison community in Mexico City so that there are no events such as the one that took place yesterday, which took the life of a person.

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