Thirteen inmates escape from jail in Mexicali, remain at large this morning

June 21, 2001|By ARTURO BOJORQUEZ, Staff Writer

Thirteen inmates in Mexicali's jail escaped Tuesday after digging a tunnel.

According to the Baja California attorney general's office, Rafael Diaz, jail director, and his staff had started to look for the escapees in surrounding neighborhoods.

State officials said inmates Tomás Ibarra, Jaime Martínez, Néstor Santillán, Ismael Guzmán, Manuel González, José Castellón, Armando Rodríguez, Jaime Ríos, Gustavo Aldrete, Rubén Aldrete, Alfredo Castro, Humberto Díaz and Salvador Maciel were missing from the jail.

Federal, state and municipal police officers started a special operation to find the fugitives, but as of this morning none had been found.


Corrections department Director Adán Méndez Castro denied any corruption in the escape.

In to a press release, the corrections director said: "Unfortunately custodians were defeated in strategy and intelligence by inmates."

The tunnel by which inmates escaped was 52 feet long and 3 feet wide.

Authorities realized about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday the escape had occurred.

Five of the escapees were convicted drug smugglers, four were convicted assailants, three were involved in murders, one was a convicted kidnapper and one was involved in a car theft.

According to witnesses who saw a group running in Colonia Pasadina near the jail, the fugitives climbed into a green van and left the area.

The van was later found close to Aeropuerto Motel on a federal highway close to the Mexicali airport.

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