El Cuini, believed to have been the No. 2 man in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, is one of the prison's inmates. El Cuini, believed to have been the No. 2 man in the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, is one of the prison's inmates.

In one Mexico City prison, 15,000 pesos gets an inmate a VIP cell

The exclusive areas are separate from the general prison population, inmates say

In Mexico City’s Reclusorio Norte prison, inmates can pay for an upgrade to the VIP floor.

Inmates who spoke to the newspaper Milenio said that for a price they can be placed in exclusive areas that are separated from the general population.

One of the exclusive areas, where the so-called “godfathers of the jail” live, is located in the second of the prison’s 10 dormitories and covers an area of 152,000 square meters.

To move in to the VIP area, an inmate must make a one-time payment of at least 15,000 pesos (US $790), although the price varies according to the identity and means of the buyer, as well as the duration of his stay.

The other VIP areas are located in the reception area and the observation and classification area. To live in these areas, inmates must make recurring payments under a system known as “the list.”

Inmates can also pay for other privileges, including television sets, internet, cellphones and conjugal visits.

While most prisoners must receive conjugal visits in public areas that are equipped with tents for privacy, those who can afford it can pay to receive visits in a separate building.

Another service the better-off inmates can pay for is the renting of a “monster,” another inmate who serves as a personal assistant, doing cleaning and errands for his boss.

All of the payments for special treatment take place with the knowledge of Enrique Serrano, the jail’s warden, according to testimonies by inmates. Serrano took charge of the jail in 2017 after his predecessor, Rafael Oñate Farfán, resigned over scandals involving corruption, extortion and drug dealing in the jail.

Some of the notable residents of the Reclusorio Norte include former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte and Juan Collado, lawyer for former president Enrique Peña Nieto.

The Reclusorio is also home to many high-level members of organized crime, including Ricardo Castillo, founder of the Unión de Tepito gang in Mexico City, and Abigael “El Cuini” González Valencia, formerly second in command of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Another report by Milenio today said the latter enjoys visits by women who stay for days at a time and has a full-time chef and servants in his three-room unit.

Both the Mexico City and federal governments said today they would investigate the allegations.

Source: Milenio (sp)

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.