Violence has increased in Mexico’s prisons and the majority are controlled by inmates, the National Human Rights Commission said.
The commission found in an annual report that 65 of the country’s 101 most populated prisons were under the control of convicts in 2012, a 4.3 percent increase from 2011.
The commission said the number of riots, fights, escapes and homicides increased last year, with 73 acts of violence that left 154 inmates dead and 103 wounded. Another 261 inmates escaped.
In 49 prisons, inmates have “privileged areas” that house banned substances and objects as well as prostitution. At least 52 prisons are overpopulated.
Mexico’s ombudsman Raul Plascencia Villanueva said the prison system was in “critical condition” and needs to ensure human rights are guaranteed in penitentiaries.
The penitentiaries visited by the commission represent 80 percent of the prison population of 239,089 inmates. Mexico’s prisons have room for 194,000 inmates.
In more recent examples of problems in Mexican jailhouses, seven inmates escaped from a prison in the northern state of Tamaulipas last week, days after six convicts were killed in the same penitentiary.
In one of the biggest prison breaks, 132 inmates snuck out of their facility in Piedras Negras, a city near the US border in the northern state of Coahuila.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]