Violent Prison Break in Mexico Reported

Violent Prison Break in Mexico Reported

( – Just across the southern border from El Paso, Texas, lies Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican town with a state prison. For years, it has held extremely valuable criminal targets from some of the nation’s most sinister cartels. Now, after a violent prison break, many of those criminals are free.

Early Sunday morning, January 1, armed men in bulletproof cars pulled up to the Cereso Number 3 jail and began shooting at guards. Over the next few hours, the exchange of gunfire killed ten guards and seven inmates as the shooters invaded the prison. Most news outlets said 25 prisoners escaped, although a January 4 report from The Associated Press upped that number to 30.

According to the New York Post, the likely gang members continued shooting after the prison break, as they escaped the compound, killing four radio station employees as they made an advertising spiel at a local restaurant.

The number of prisoners who got away included the leader of the street gang Los Mexicles, Ernesto “El Neto” Piñón, and his next in line, César Vega. Piñón was also known for working for the notorious leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. He was serving a 224-year sentence for kidnapping and murder charges that a jury found him guilty of in 2010. On January 5, Chihuahua state governor Maru Campos wrote on Twitter that Piñón was killed in a shootout with authorities.

About three hours after the invasion and jailbreak began, additional security entered the facility. It took around two hours to restore order. In the ensuing investigation, authorities found ten guns, a myriad of alcohol and drugs, and $87,000 in cash in Piñón’s cell. Additionally, ten other cells were clearly upgraded, including one containing a jacuzzi.

Mexican authorities are now combing the surrounding area for the more than two dozen escaped inmates who have committed horrific crimes in the past. According to a separate report from The New York Post, at least one expert has expressed concerns about the possibility of inmates fleeing to the US.

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