Prison Staff Detained After 11 ‘Zetas’ Escape

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Eighteen prison officials are under investigation for allegedly helping the escape of 11 suspected Zetas from a prison in the state of Puebla, southwest Mexico.

The escape was made through a hole in an outer wall of the facility in San Pedro Cholula, southeast of Mexico City.

At least six of the escapees are considered highly dangerous and were segregated from the general prison population. One fugitive, Jose Contreras, is believed to lead Zetas operations in Puebla and has a record of three previous prison breaks. Other escapees include members of a criminal group that has been implicated in the kidnapping of a prominent Puebla business leader last year, according to reports.

The prison administrator and 17 guards will appear before a judge to face charges of assisting the inmates’ escape. At a press conference, State Public Security Secretary Ardelio Vargas quickly laid the blame for the breakout on local authorities. After making a personal visit to the correctional facility in mid-November, Vargas warned San Pedro Cholula mayor about possible corruption within the prison, reports Milenio.

The Zetas were thought to be involved in another major jailbreak in Veracruz in September, where a number of the fugitives were later discovered in a Zetas training camp.

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