Durango prison had troubled history; accused prison warden was “woman of the year”

The Durango penitentiary, Cereso 2 ( the Spanish acronym stands for “Center for Social Readaptation”), has had a troubled recent history, according to Reforma’s timeline. In March 2009, armed men raided the prison and freed five convicts; the prison warden was arrested for complicity. In August 2009, a riot left 20 prisoners dead; the new warden was relieved of duty.  Also in August, 13 of the 40 guards quit, citing threats to their lives, two days after Margarita Rojas was named the third warden in five months. Rojas, of course, was just arrested on the charge of allowing inmates to leave at night and use prison weapons and vehicles to carry out assassinations-for-hire, including the recent massacre of 17 at the Quinta Italia Inn.

Also, it turns out that Durango governor Ismael Hernández Deras (PRI) had recently awarded Rojas the honor of being “Woman of the Year 2010.”

The new PAN spokesman, Max Cortázar blasted Hernández:  “The governor ought to avoid looking for people to blame outside the local government structure, because it is precisely there that the urgent action is required to guarantee the safety and tranquility of families in Durango.”

(Reforma 7/26, Universal 7/27)

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