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Report: Police Massacred Tijuana Prisoners

Frontera NorteSur, News Report, Staff Posted: Dec 11, 2008

An official report from the Baja California Attorney General for Human Rights has blamed state police for killing the majority of at least two dozen prisoners slain during uprisings at Tijuanas La Mesa prison last September. Among the 22 findings made in the report were observations that state lawmakers and prosecutors should initiate political and criminal proceedings against state Public Safety Director Daniel de la Rosa Anaya, whose employees were blamed for torturing and shooting prisoners.

Francisco Javier Sanchez Corona, state human rights ombudsman, said evidence showing slain prisoners were shot from above coincided with testimonies of shots being fired from a State Preventive Police helicopter. According to Sanchez, the official death toll of the prison violence of 24 inmates was higher since the burned remains of other victims were recovered.

Sanchezs office urged state officials to investigate federal, state and local police officers who were involved in suppressing the rebellious prisoners, as well as four ex-prison officials for their possible role in the massacre. In its report, the official state human rights agency said Baja California Governor Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan should issue a public apology to inmates and the families of slain and injured prisoners who were victims of human rights violations.

The report called for the apprehension of two former guards, Marco Antonio Ibarra Chavez and Daniel Ibarra Perez, both of whom are charged with torture and murder in connection with the death of inmate Israel Blanco Marquez. Baja California officials earlier said they suspected the two ex-guards had fled to the United States.

The fugitives, together with correctional officers Jorge Eduardo Gonzalez Montero and Alex Cervantes, have been linked to the beating death of 19-year-old Israel Blanco over the issue of possessing a cell phone and marijuana. Twenty-two other prisoners of La Mesas Cellblock No. 5 also were allegedly tortured by guards during the probe.

Observers credited the Blanco killing and inmate tortures for sparking the first inmate uprising that terminated in a massacre several days later.

Source: La Jornada, December 11, 2008. Article by Olga Alicia Aragon Castillo.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico



Related Articles:

Tijuana Prison Riots Highlight Torture, Abuse

Nineteen Killed in Tijuana Prison Riot



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