The attack on a prison in the northern Mexico city of Ciudad Juarez on Sunday to break out a drug lord resulted in the deaths of 19 people and the escape of 25 inmates, according to a latest report by authorities on Monday. Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval told a news conference that ten guards, seven detainees and two attackers were killed. A guard and 14 inmates were also injured, and five attackers were arrested. The previous toll reported 14 dead, including 10 guards, and 13 injured.
Among the fugitives is the leader of a gang allied with the Juarez cartel in its war against Sinaloa’s, formerly led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States.
Several riots in this prison
Ernesto Alfredo Piñon was the “leader of this criminal group called El Neto,” said Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodriguez at the same press conference. He had been imprisoned since 2009 and sentenced to more than 200 years in prison for kidnapping and murder, according to prosecutors in the state of Chihuahua (north). Armed men had already tried to free him after he was arrested during his rendition. He had been injured in the attack.
The attack by gunmen who arrived in armored vehicles came at dawn Sunday as families of inmates waited to visit relatives over the New Year. This Chihuahua state government prison has been the scene of several scuffles and riots. including one that killed 20 people in March 2009, one of the bloodiest in the country’s history. In August 2022, a clash between rival gangs killed three prisoners.
On Monday, the police searched for the fugitives and the other members of the commando. Ciudad Juarez, which borders the American city of El Paso, is a strategic hub for drug trafficking into the United States. According to official figures, since the launch of a controversial military anti-drug offensive in December 2006, Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 homicides, most of which are attributed to criminal organizations.