Head of Mexican jailbreak prison fired, deadly manhunt gathers pace

3 weeks ago 48

[1/5] Members of the Mexican Army inspect a vehicle outside the Cereso 3 prison, as authorities transfer inmates from the Cereso 3 prison in Ciudad Juarez to other prisons in the country following the Sunday morning attack where a cartel kingpin escaped along with two dozen other prisoners, according to a police statement, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 3, 2023. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

MEXICO CITY, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Mexican authorities on Tuesday said they had fired the director of a prison near the U.S. border where at least 30 inmates escaped at the weekend after a deadly riot, as police began a manhunt for missing convicts.

State prosecutors in the border state of Chihuahua said Alejandro Alvarado, head of the prison in the city of Ciudad Juarez, had been dismissed, and is also under investigation for his possible role in the jailbreak, alongside others.

On Sunday, 19 people died after gunmen attacked the prison a few miles south of El Paso, Texas, killing guards and inmates and triggering a mass escape that included cartel kingpin Ernesto Alfredo Pinon de la Cruz, also known as "El Neto".

Federal authorities arrived to restore order, later finding a "VIP zone" in the state-run prison with drugs and money.

On Monday night, Chihuahua's government said seven people had died during subsequent police clashes as part of the hunt to find the escaped inmates. Two of the dead were police.

Sunday's incident resulted in one of the highest death tolls from prison violence in Mexico in recent years.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, Writing by Isabel Woodford; Editing by David Gregorio

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