EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The Mexican government has transferred some 300 inmates from a federal prison in Juarez to other government facilities in Mexico.
The transfers came as the Ministry of the Interior on Sunday issued a statement announcing the closure of Juarez’s Cefereso 9 prison.
The statement said the closure was necessary to “facilitate mechanisms and activities for the (successful) rehabilitation of those incarcerated.” It also mentioned the need to modernize prisons and guarantee the human rights of inmates.
The ministry said prison employees would be reassigned to other facilities. The statement didn’t identify the inmates that were flown to other cities on Sunday. The prison mostly held men and women convicted of drug and weapons violations.
About 60 relatives of former inmates at Cefereso 9 held a protest on Sunday alleging they weren’t warned of the transfer in advance nor told where the prisoners were sent to. One of the relatives said he heard the inmates were headed to prisons in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Guanajuato.
Chihuahua declared disaster area due to drought
The Mexican government has issued a disaster declaration for the state of Chihuahua, due to severe drought conditions. The designation will allow 48 municipalities to access federal funds to assist farmers and to procure water resources.
The drought earlier this year led to a protracted standoff between Chihuahua farmers and the Mexican government over the planned extraction of water from state dams so that Mexico could fulfill its obligations to the United States under a 1944 treaty. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador put an end to the conflict by transferring rights to the United States of water Mexico stored in South Texas dams.
Most of the municipalities benefiting from the disaster declaration are in the central and southern agricultural belt in Chihuahua, although the city of Juarez was also included.
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