Mexico prison officials use inmates for murders then put them back in jail


Gunmen who killed 17 people at a party in northern Mexico earlier this month were let out of prison to carry out the attack, state prosecutors say.

Guards at a prison in Durango state are accused of lending the inmates weapons and vehicles to commit the murders in neighbouring Coahuila state before returning them to their cells.

The same group of prisoners are thought to have carried out other killings.

The prison director and at least two other officers are under investigation.

The killings in the city of Torreon in Coahuila state were traced to Gomez Palacios prison in neighbouring Durango state through bullets found at the crime scene, which matched assault rifles assigned to the guards, attorney-general's office spokesman Ricardo Najera said.

"They were allowed out of prison to kill using the weapons of the guards and travelling in official vehicles" he said.

Mr Najera said the prisoners were acting as contract killers for a drugs gang, and were thought to have carried out two other mass killings in Torreon earlier this year using the same weapons.

This is one of the obvious problems with Mexico's public corruption, although this is more blatant than most. It is also a reflection of the lack of consequences for inmates when there is no death penalty. Those who released these guys to commit murder certainly deserve the death penalty. Their breach of trust is egregious.


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