Prisoners in 'escape of the century' left by the front door

Arrest warrant issued for officials at Mexican jail after true story emerges of how 131 inmates fled

When 131 inmates fled from a Mexican prison in Coahuila, near the Texas border, earlier this week it was described as the "escape of the century". News reports said the prisoners made their way out through a tunnel before overpowering three guards and escaping, one by one, through a hole cut in the compound's wire fence.

But it has now emerged that the inmates actually left through the front door, with the help of prison guards.

Jorge Luis Morán, Coahuila's public safety secretary, told local media: "The statements from those we've captured confirm that they left through the door. There was total complicity, collusion and betrayal from the officers charged to prevent them from escaping."

A judge has ordered the detention of all 16 prison officials working that day, including its director, José Miguel Pérez Reséndiz. The escape is believed to have taken place at 10am, yet Mr Reséndiz did not report it until 3.30pm local time.

Monday's jailbreak prompted a national manhunt, but so far only three of the escapees have been caught.

It is believed that a handful of the inmates may actually have left through the tunnel, which is thought to have been used predominantly to traffic drugs over recent months. The Mexican authorities have also said inmates may have escaped over several days, which will further complicate the search for the remaining fugitives.

The recaptured inmates have claimed that only some of those who escaped had in fact planned to. Some were forced to leave, while others were opportunistic. In total, 20 per cent of the prison's population managed to escape.

Officials confirmed that two of the recaptured convicts were members of the powerful Zetas drugs cartel, which has a strong presence in Coahuila.

The Director of Public Prosecutors, Homero Ramos, said the two were caught in possession of vehicles, weapons and more than 8,000 rounds of ammunition. The gang, whose dominance in the region is being threatened, is widely believed to be behind the escape.

The fallibility of the system was laid bare when Mr Ramos was forced to confirm that, despite housing high-risk inmates, the prison did not have any security cameras.

Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, took to Twitter to describe the jailbreak as "deplorable" and said "the vulnerability of the state institutions of justice must be corrected".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee