Gunmen had attacked a detention center the previous day, killing 19 people and allowing prisoners, including a gang leader, to escape.
Seven people were killed Monday, January 1, in Ciudad Juarez, northern Mexico, during a police operation to find detainees who escaped the day before an attack on a prison that had already killed 19 people. Gunmen attacked the detention center in this city on the border with the United States on Sunday morning, killing 19 people and allowing prisoners, including a gang leader, to escape.
Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval previously told reporters that Sunday’s attack, which is attributed to drug dealers, killed 10 guards, seven prisoners and two attackers. Fourteen inmates and a guard were injured and five attackers captured, Luis Cresencio Sandoval said.
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On Monday, the federal government announced that 19 people died in the prison attack, including 10 guards, seven prisoners and two attackers, and that 25 prisoners escaped. 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. Ernesto Alfredo Piñon was the “leader of this criminal group known as ‘El Neto,'” said Secretary of Security Rosa Icela Rodriguez. 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).
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Armed men had already tried to free him after he was arrested during his rendition. He had been injured in the attack. The onslaught of armed men, arriving in armored vehicles, came at dawn on Sunday as families of those detained waited to visit relatives over the New Year.
This Chihuahua state government prison has been the scene of several fights 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. According to official figures, since the start 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.
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