Majority of Mexican prisons run by the gangs on the inside

Six in 10 of Mexican prisons ‘self governed’ by gangs…Prisons are also plagued by overcrowding, a shortage of guards and corrupt employees who sometimes help with breakouts, according to Mexico’s human rights commission.

Representative Andres Aguirre said 60 percent of the country’s 430 prisons or jails are controlled by criminal elements.

He added that the escape of 521 inmates over 14 incidents since 2010 – often with the help of corrupt prison officials – constitutes a grave problem for the country.

Earlier this month, more than 130 inmates escaped from a prison near the U.S. border in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, one of numerous mass breakouts tied to organized crime in the past few years.

Initial reports indicated the Piedras Negras inmates escaped through a 23-foot-long underground tunnel, but it was later revealed that they had merely walked out the facility’s front door with the help of prison guards…

The commission’s findings are a reminder of the challenges that await Enrique Pena Nieto, Mexico’s incoming president, who has pledged to reduce crime in the country after six years of increased gang-related violence under President Felipe Calderon.

Same as it ever was. Anyone who believes decades of political corruption can be wiped away by one term of a reformist president is deluded. But, then, that isn’t just true of Mexico – is it?

One thought on “Majority of Mexican prisons run by the gangs on the inside

  1. Reality✓ says:

    Meanwhile in the USA (with the possible exception of North Korea, the United States has a higher incarceration rate than any other nation, at one in 108 adults – down from one in 99 in 2008) “How Gangs Took Over Prisons : Originally formed for self-protection, prison gangs have become the unlikely custodians of order behind bars – and of crime on the streets.” http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/09/how-gangs-took-over-prisons/379330/
    According to David Skarbek, “The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System” (2014) “Prison is set up so that most of the things a person wants to do are against the rules, so to understand what’s really going on, you have to start by realizing that people are coming up with complicated ways to get around them.” Prison officials have long known that gangs are highly sophisticated organizations with carefully plotted strategies, business-development plans, bureaucracies, and even human-resources departments—all of which, Skarbek argues, lead not to chaos in the prison system but to order.
    Skarbek trained in an economic school of thought known as rational-choice theory, which aims to explain human behavior as the product of reasonable decisions by economic actors. In many cases, rational-choice theory has shown behaviors to be rational that at first appear wild, irrational, or psychopathic. When people are encouraged or forced to act against their economic interest, they find work-arounds as surely as water blocked by a boulder in a stream finds a way to flow around it.
    In 1968, one of the founders of rational-choice theory, Gary Becker, wrote a pioneering paper, “Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,” premised on the idea that the prevailing view of crime required revision. According to prior dogma, criminals were best understood as mental defectives, crazy people who couldn’t control their impulses. Becker, who won a Nobel in economics in 1992 and died this past May, suggested instead that criminals offend because they make careful calculations of the probability and likely cost of getting caught—and then determine that the gamble is worthwhile. This insight, Skarbek says, opened the study of crime up to economic theory.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.