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Latino Daily News

Saturday April 30, 2011

Drug Cartels Set Up Self-Rule in Mexican Prisons, and Continue Business as Usual

Drug Cartels Set Up Self-Rule in Mexican Prisons, and Continue Business as Usual

Photo: Mexican Prison Self-Rule

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Prison Observers in Mexico say that drug cartels populations are increasing as the cartels seize more control internally and set up “self–rule.”

At the prison in Saltillo, 190 miles southwest of Laredo, Texas ,the Los Zetas drug cartel has the run of the prison, in what is referred to as “autogobierno” or self-rule, USA Today reported Thursday.

A report from the National Human Rights Commission defines self-rule as inmates being permitted to manage internal functions “such as controlling keys, organizing activities (and) cleaning and overseeing dormitories, among others.”

In Saltillo, self-rule is in the hands of the Los Zetas, one of the most powerful and violent of Mexico’s drug cartels.

Once incarcerated , cartel members often take over a prison and continue involvement in their drug operations, officials said.

Self-rule, “Means having total control over an inmate population,” along with “the ability to communicate with the outside without restrictions,” said David Ordaz of Mexico’s National Criminal Science Institute.