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Mexico Drug Dealers Operate in Prison and Bribe Their Way Out

It’s pretty simple: If you round up violent drug traffickers, lock them up and then let them go, it doesn’t do a lot of good. Mexico and the U.S. need to work more closely to deal with this issue.

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By MARC LACEY
New York Times
MEXICO CITY – The surveillance cameras captured it all: guards looking on nonchalantly as 53 inmates – many of them associated with one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels – let themselves out of their cells and sped off in waiting vehicles.

The video shows that prison guards only pulled out their weapons after the inmates were well on their way. The brazen escape in May in the northern state of Zacatecas – carried out in minutes without a single shot fired – is just one of many glaring examples of how Mexico’s crowded and cruel prison system represents a critical weak link in the drug war.

Mexico’s prisons, as described by inmates and insiders and viewed during several visits, are places where drug traffickers find a new base of operations for their criminal empires, recruit underlings, and bribe their way out for the right price.

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