Feb 22, 2012

Rule of Law: Grave situation in prisions is responsibility of states: Mexico Interior Secretary

La Jornada: "The head of the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Poiré Romero, acknowledged that about 70 percent of federal inmates are currently in state prisons.

Two days after the escape and death of inmates at the prison in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, the official stressed the responsibility of state governments in such prison incidents. While he implicitly recognized that the federal government is lagging on the issue, he said that, regarding the states' prison issue, the Calderon administration has already done its part.

"Throughout the Calderon administration, there has not been one of these incidents in any of the federal prisons, not one," he said. He also emphasized that there are very dangerous inmates in federal prisons, such as kidnappers. "We are assuming our responsibility to reverse the historical pattern. We are doing it very quickly and without incident in federal prisons," he said.

He noted that at the end of his term (within nine months) eight new prisons will be ready, which will solve the problem of having thousands of inmates prosecuted for federal crimes being held in state prisons. However, he immediatley admitted that the building of more prisons "does not remove the problem of corruption in prisons."

Poiré also stated that the federal government provides resources to states for the maintenance of federal prisoners and for prison infrastructure development.

"Today, the total number of prisoners under federal jurisdiction is 47 thousand and, of these, more than 18,000 are in federal facilities, i.e., we have thirty-something percent of all federal inmates in federal custody," he said.

... In 2006, he claimed, there were six federal facilities and, in December 2011, there were 12 functioning. That is, at the beginning of this administration were only 3,164 inmates in prisons under federal jurisdiction and currently there are 18,283, up almost five times." Spanish original

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