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Latino Daily News

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Leaders of Mexican “Paisas” Believed to Have Started Mississippi Prison Riot Earlier This Year

Leaders of Mexican “Paisas” Believed to Have Started Mississippi Prison Riot Earlier This Year

Photo: Leaders of Mexican "Paisas" Believed to Have Started Mississippi Prison Riot Earlier This Year

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Mexican inmates in a Mississippi prison started a riot over their mistreatment.

Authorities say the May 20 riot at the privately-run Adams County Correctional Facility (ACCF) in Natchez, which was a prison for undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes in the U.S., was started by leaders of Paisas, leaders of the Mexican inmates.

The riot came just one day after leadership of Paisas was changed, because many believed the former leaders were not doing enough to have the inmates’ grievances heard by proper prison officials. According to those involved, the inmates say they were mistreated by disrespectful guards and given what they called poor food and medical care.

The new leaders, identified as Ernesto “Neto” Granados and Juan “Bobby” Arredondo, ordered the Paisas to not obey the prison staff and refuse to return to their cells until their complaints were heard and their demands met.

ImageIn the end, as many as 300 inmates were involved in the riot, and corrections officer Catlin Carithers (see right) was beaten to death. The prison itself suffered an estimated $1.3 million in damages.

Both the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s SWAT team and ACCF’s special response team were needed to end the riot, while local law enforcement from various surrounding neighborhoods worked to secure the prison’s perimeter.

Most of the 2,500 inmates at the facility are held under low security, with most serving time for various immigration-related crimes such as re-entry to the U.S. after being deported.

ACCF is owned by Corrections Corporation of America, the controversial private prison company known for its support of politicians like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and former Senator Russell Pearce.