03/25/2010

41 inmates escape in Mexican border town

A jail in the northern Mexican city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, has proven porous in the past

MEXICO CITY — Law enforcement officials are searching for two prison guards and 41 inmates have escaped from a jail in the northern Mexican city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas.

Prison director Orlando Saucedo Pinto has been put on temporary leave as investigators review how the prisoners broke out, Mexican prison officials told a news conference.

Prison staff are also being investigated, they said.

State leaders in Mexico have complained in the past that they do not have facilities secure enough to accommodate more serious, federally charged prisoners. Authorities said that all but three of the prisoners who escaped had been charged under federal law but were being held at the state institution. Details of Thursday's escape were not immediately available.

Last year guards stood by as more than 50 prisoners walked out of another jail in northern Mexico.

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