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A tale of a fateful trip

18 August 2010

… That started from this tropic port
… aboard a naval ship.

With no warning, and no explanation other than a need to relieve prison crowding, 116 male and five female convicts considered a danger to the public, were relocated from the Federal Social Readaption Center in Mazatlán to the Islas Marias “campamentos”.   The convicts’ families, many of whom moved to Mazatlán to be near their incarcerated family member (or, in some cases, to live with him or her), are also relocating to the penal colonies off the Nayarit coast.

The main island, Maria Madre, presently has seven “campamentos” where there are presently about 700 convicts living with their families. There were plans to close the convict settlements (mostly because the maintenance costs for an island facility, as well as providing social services and schooling for convict families was prohibitively expensive) and turn the Islands (only Maria Madre is inhabited) into a wildlife sanctuary.  Instead, the Federal Government is looking to dramatically increase the number of convicts housed on the Maria Madre, adding several campamentos as well as two full penitentiaries (one a maximum security facility) and bring the present convict population up from its average seven hundred to 11,000, not including family members, guards, naval personnel (the Islands are under naval administration), nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers and others.

1.5 billion (thousand million) pesos was invested in new construction on Maria Madre in 2009, 2.3 billion this year and it is estimated that another 200 million will be spent in 2011 on the project.  By contrast, the cost of building a maximum security mainland prison is only about 660 million pesos.  The whole idea of penal colonies is kind of retro, but we have a conservative government at present.  At least they haven’t done something really insane like privatize the prisons, unlike a failed state of note (which, however, doesn’t have any islands).
I don’t know if there are motor-cars on Maria Madre, but there are lights, and it’s not quite as primitive as can be.  And I’m pretty sure the families aren’t forced to watch dubbed Gilligan’s Island reruns — THAT would be cruel and unusual punishment!

One Comment leave one →
  1. berenice mendez permalink
    1 September 2012 10:42 pm

    was one of the prisoners moved from a penalty from michoacan to islas tres marias called Homero Mendez Juarez? his date of birth is 03-06-1970

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