1672694251 El Neto released after an armed attack on a prison

El Neto, released after an armed attack on a prison in Ciudad Juárez and a riot

They tried in August and succeeded on New Year’s Day with an attack from abroad and a riot in the Cereso 3 prison in Ciudad Juárez, a coordinated action to release the leader of the Mexicles, Ernesto Alfredo Piñón de la Cruz, El Net. With him, 24 other inmates escaped after a shootout that left 10 guards and seven prisoners dead. The revolt has once again revealed the overcrowded situation in some Mexican prisons, but also the luxurious conditions of some cells where the most dangerous drug dealers have televisions, cell phones, guns and safes in which they store the rich well-stocked drugstore. Federal authorities have reported all of this, insisting that Cereso 3 is a state prison whose terms the Chihuahuan government must respond to.

New Year’s Day is one of those days that criminals use for their crimes, with the understanding that the guard is lower than usual. But in Cereso 3 they were already warned, because last August there was a riot in which El Neto was already named as the target of the conflict. “He is the source of everything,” Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said at a news conference. Also who triggered “the whole situation a few months ago” in Ciudad Juárez. All that remains now is to bury the dead and search for the fugitives, a task that nearly a thousand agents from the Army, National Guard and State Police work with fences in the border town, bus terminals, airports and customs crossings that thousands of people pass through every day enter the United States.

Two women, relatives of one of the inmates of Cereso number 3, embrace after the riot this Sunday outside the prison.Two women, relatives of one of the inmates of Cereso number 3, embrace after the riot this Sunday outside the prison. HERIKA MARTINEZ (AFP)

At half past five in the morning on Sunday, riots began in the city, actions to mislead the police of the main objective, the attack on Cereso 3. At that time, a guard at the guardhouse was attacked. A second skirmish between police and criminals broke out on another street, killing two attackers. Half an hour later the riot broke out and the head of the guards deployed his troops to control it. It cost him dearly. The prisoners had guns and fatally released them to 10 security officers. “They were attacked by the inmates who had guns,” Sandoval assured. Around the prison, several armored vans with gunmen were approaching, neighbors could see. According to local media reports, the shooting was part of the plan and some bullets injured relatives of the prisoners who were waiting to visit. Chaos had its noise inside and out.

With a prison housing 3,901 inmates, well above the population it can support, some of them very dangerous, the city police limited themselves to calling in outside reinforcements and it was the military, the National Guard and the State Police, which occurred at 10 a.m.,” according to Sandoval and Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez, in order to keep the situation under control “at noon”. By then, the uprising had left its mark of chaos and death: columns of black smoke were pouring from the street seen and guns used extensively. When the fires were put out and the census taken, seven long guns were seized from the prison and another 17 from the street actions. And a total of 9 handguns. Bullets, bulletproof vests and dozens of cans of drugs.

Official list of escaped inmates from Ciudad Juárez prison, presented during a press conference in Mexico City on January 2, 2022.Official list of escaped prisoners from Ciudad Juárez prison, presented during a press conference in Mexico City on January 2, 2022.Victoria Valtierra Ruvalcaba (Cuartoscuro)

The plan was orchestrated perfectly and in just a few minutes, after six in the morning, the criminals found the corridors and cells and liberated El Neto, according to reports from the Metropolitan Police, quoted in local media. But the disorder allowed 24 other inmates to escape, spreading panic across several streets and robbing citizens of their cars to escape. The digital portal Sin Embargo names up to four neighbors who were forced to get out of their vehicles and hand them over to the criminals.

El Neto is the leader of the Mexicles, a criminal group linked to the Caborca ​​Cartel who has been imprisoned since 2009 for kidnapping and murder crimes at Cereso 3, in a criminal career that began at a very young age that has linked him to others has cartels. The riot that broke out in the same prison last August was aimed at freeing the criminal, but they did not succeed. For this, a fight allegedly ordered by him between the Mexicles and the Chapos was triggered. “The toughest and most heartless drug trafficker of the criminal Mexicle group, El Neto, a replacement for El Lalo, fled Cereso today with the help of an armed commando. He’s been one of the generators of the greatest violence in the city since jail, and now he’s back on the streets,” former Chihuahua Governor PAN member Javier Corral summarized in a tweet.

Ernesto Alfredo Piñón de la Cruz, aka el Neto, after his first arrest in August 2009.Ernesto Alfredo Piñón de la Cruz, aka el Neto, after his first arrest in August 2009. RR.SS.

Politics was heard after this attack, which claimed the lives of 10 prison officers. Corral has accused the current governor, Maru Campus, also a PAN member, of letting former associates of Governor César Duarte (PRI) “control the Chihuahuan prisons” and has Eduardo Guerrero Durán, director of prisons in the Duarte administration , mentions a man with a history of corruption and ties to the narco. Some information links him to bribery to facilitate a third escape from El Chapo. César Duarte is currently being held in connection with several court cases.

Political statements are now unfolding in this network of corruption and crime. In the press conference this morning, both Rosa Icela Rodríguez and General Sandoval stressed the “government” responsibility of Cereso 3. “Security depends on the state. At the federal level, there are programs to move inmates when there are too many [de población carcelaria], but we have not received any request, they are procedures that the state must carry out, ”they have indicated. “Some states need to do better work in prisons and the best way is with prevention and with various measures, not just with transfer [presos] dangerous,” Rodríguez emphasized more directly.

Sandoval has reported that staff are already being scheduled to move detainees if they are to be moved, as there is “a request that has not yet been finalized by the state”. The general also mentioned the “VIP cells” that exist in Cereso 3 and the confiscation of 1.7 million pesos in a safe in one of them. “These are well-kept cells, in different conditions than the others.” One of the most serious criminals in Mexico escaped from them this Sunday. The network is already on the streets.

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