Mexico investing to expand high-security prisons

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Mexican government is investing 1.2bn pesos (US$72mn) to expand the infrastructure of federal high-security social rehabilitation centers (Ceferesos) and equip security and communications systems.

This program seek to extend, adapt, build and equip about 15 hectares of correctional facilities to handle 1,110 highly dangerous inmates, the finance ministry (SHCP) stated in a document on the development.

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The authorities will also build high-security buildings, service infrastructure, water infrastructure, and sanitary and electrical installations, among others.

The issue of prison security and capacity has come under the spotlight after Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, head of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, recently escaped from a high-security prison for a second time.

The document did not specify if this investment include the construction of new infrastructure for El Altiplano, the high-security prison from which El Chapo escaped.

Mexico prisons are operating at around 24.4% over capacity, according to data in a document used to create the 2014-18 national infrastructure program (PNI).

Prison capacity was around 197,993 in 2013, but at that time some 246,334 people were behind bars.