MEXICO CITY – Fifty-nine inmates escaped Friday from a prison in northern Mexico after a disturbance that left seven prisoners dead and at least five others injured, sources in the Tamaulipas state government told Efe.
The incident took place at the Cedes 2 penitentiary in Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas, the same institution from which 151 inmates fled last December.
Besides the 59 escapees, seven guards remain unaccounted for, the sources said.
Friday’s mass escape came less than two months after 17 inmates tunneled their way out of a prison in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, a city next door to McAllen, Texas.
In March, the person appointed to run Cedes 2 after the disappearance of the warden who presided over the December escape was stabbed to death by an inmate.
Forty-one guards were charged in connection with last year’s breakout from Cedes 2.
Mexico’s drug mobs sometimes engineer massive prison breaks in response to the killings and arrests of their gunmen.
Tamaulipas is one of the main battlegrounds in a turf war between the Gulf cartel and Los Zetas, a band of Mexican special forces deserters turned hired guns.
After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.
More than 1,000 army troops have been deployed to Tamaulipas in recent weeks to support state and local law enforcement in their struggle with organized crime. EFE