Thursday September 20, 2012
Mexico captures two inmates after mass prison break
PIEDRAS NEGRAS (Mexico): Two inmates who took part in a mass Mexican prison break near the US border have been captured while 16 prison officials were detained over the escape, officials said Wednesday.
The pair was caught Tuesday while driving a pick-up truck with US license plates in Zaragoza, a town some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the prison, the prosecutor's office said.
But 129 inmates remain on the loose since fleeing the prison through a tunnel in the border city of Piedras Negras on Monday, according to Coahuila state officials.
Police and soldiers are hunting for the fugitives in neighboring states where the ultra-violent Zetas drug cartel operates. Authorities say the Zetas were behind the escape.
"The two people detained (Tuesday) declared that the other inmates possibly left the state," Coahuila public security secretary Jorge Luis Moran told AFP.
The Zetas have orchestrated at least five other escapes in the last three years in northeastern Mexican states.
A judge meanwhile ordered the detention of the prison's director and 15 other guards for 40 days while prosecutors investigate their possible role in the escape, the Coahuila state attorney general's office said in a statement.
After taking testimony from guards, Coahuila state prosecutor Homero Ramos said investigators were looking into the possibility that several inmates escaped through the prison's gate with the help of guards. - AFP