Protest at Mexico prison in revenge killings scandal
Tue, Jul 27, 2010

GOMEZ PALACIO, Mexico - Dozens of prisoners protested Monday on the roof of a Mexican jail after their guards and officials were accused of releasing inmates to carry out drug-related revenge killings. Prisoners carried out killings using their guards' weapons, including the massacre of 17 people this month, before returning to their cells, the Attorney General's Office said on Sunday.

Inmates gathered on the roof of the prison in Gomez Palacio, in northern Durango state, on Monday as some 60 family members protested outside.

They sought the return of the prison's director, who was detained after being accused of allowing prisoners out to commit killings, and for the return of visits which had now been blocked by soldiers and police, said one protester.

They also sought to prevent the transfers of high-risk prisoners, which authorities threatened to carry out after Sunday's revelations shocked many in Mexico, where drug-related violence has erupted across the country.

Officials gave no details of the inmates accused of carrying out three massacres which left 35 dead this year in the city of Torreon, in neighboring Coahuila state.

They initially said a drug gang was involved.

Authorities blame violent drug gangs for 25,000 deaths since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on organized crime, deploying some 50,000 troops across the country.




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