After riots erupted in the Topo Chico prison — killing around 49 inmates — officials discovered some cells were rather more luxurious than others in the Mexican prison.
It seems it’s not what you know, it’s who you are when you are incarcerated in Topo Chico, a Mexican prison on the outskirts of Monterrey.
The Inquisitr recently reported on the riot that shook the Topo Chico Prison, with at least 49 inmates reported dead and 12 injured, along with many relatives demanding answers about their loved ones. A fight broke out between rival gang leaders in the Mexican prison, which led to several fires. Following the riot, officials found 60 hammers, 86 knives, and 120 shivs that had been used in the fighting.
After relatives demanded answers as to what happened to their loved ones during the riot, authorities performed an investigation, which led to the discovery of luxurious jail cells containing everything from king-size beds to aquariums, saunas, loaded mini-fridges, flat screen televisions, and air conditioning. Some of these better-off inmates of the luxury cells were even known to have visits from the ladies.
Police retake control of Topo Chico jail after fatal riot & dismantle “luxury cells”, Mexican officials say https://t.co/9aZ7Dm5Pjl
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 15, 2016
These cells are in a stark contrast to the average prisoner’s accommodations, with people fighting to get hold of clean water and food to replace the bad quality food on offer in the Mexican prison.
Many of the inmates in Topo Chico are reportedly there for minor offenses, while others are awaiting trial and these prisoners live in uncomfortable conditions. Yet it seems the drug lords were being treated like kings.
Since this discovery was made, the warden and superintendent of the Mexican prison have been arrested and themselves charged with drug trafficking, along with failure to enforce security measures in the prison. At least one guard is facing homicide charges in the shooting death of an inmate during the riot on February 11.
According to the International Business Times, Zetas drug cartel kingpin Ivan Hernandez Cantu was living it up with a king-size bed in his cell, along with a luxurious bath and a huge flat screen television.
Speaking for the state prosecutor’s office in Nuevo Leon, chief prosecutor Roberto Flores said, “At the time of the attack, a lady was with him.”
According to officials, inmates with money to their names had the pleasure of special food stands and convenience stores. There was reportedly even a bar operated by inmates for their use.
— Milenio.com (@Milenio) February 16, 2016
The deadly riot itself followed a battle for control of the prison between Hernandez and rival Zetas leader Juan Pedro Zaldivar Farias.
Luxury time is over for the drug cartel kingpins, however, as local police have taken control of Topo Chico to “put an end to the self-government that leaders of organized crime exerted with the complicity of some authorities,” according to the state prosecutor.
According to ABC News, state public safety chief Cuauhtemoc Antunez told the media that all the luxuries have now been confiscated and all privileges of any kind in the Mexican prison are over for the previously privileged few.
Reportedly, at the time of the riot, the Topo Chico Prison had 3,800 inmates, which is 35 percent over capacity. Following the riot, some 233 inmates, including the two Zetas drug lords themselves, were transferred to other prisons to live out their incarceration in less luxurious surroundings.
— El Universal English (@Univ_inenglish) February 15, 2016
According to El Universal, UN special rapporteur for torture Juan Mendez said the Mexican government must guarantee that the families of the victims of the riot will be told exactly what happened to their loved ones in the Mexican prison.
[Photo by Emilio Vazquez/AP]