“Three, two, one. Action: Man, say hello to the camera. This guy killed his stepfather, he slit his throat, it’s true, he was in the news. He loved him but didn’t know how to tell him.”
It sounds like something from a movie set, but the words were actually spoken by an inmate at a penitentiary in the state of México earlier this month while he filmed a fellow inmate on a cell phone. The footage was transmitted live on Facebook.
But live streaming from their prison cells — at least together — is to become a thing of the past for the two inmates after prison authorities announced that the pair will be relocated from the Chiconautla prison in Ecatepec to separate jails in Chalco and Tlalnepantla, also in the state of México.
One inmate, identified as Francisco Javier Salamanca, is doing time for robbery while the other, Luis Donatelo Bobadilla, is serving a sentence for homicide.
After authorities became aware of the security breach guards carried out a search to confiscate any other cell phones that had been smuggled into the prison. An investigation to establish who was responsible for allowing the devices to be brought into the correctional facility has also begun.
In at least three transmissions that were streamed on the social network this month, the pair also boasted about privileges that they enjoyed inside the prison such as having access to a television and other prohibited items. 0In one video, seen by the newspaper El Universal, Salamanca warned his audience of Facebook friends to not succumb to the same fate as him.
“. . . Enjoy your freedom because maybe I could see you here and I wouldn’t like that,” he said.
In another he boasted that he would soon be released although he may now remain incarcerated longer than he anticipated.
A federal law stipulates that all prisons must have systems in place to block cell phone reception in order to prevent inmates from contacting people on the outside and committing crimes such as extortion. But the fact that inmates were able to access mobile internet services clearly shows that the law was not upheld at the Chiconautla prison.
Video footage from a Mexico City prison also emerged at the start of the year, providing evidence that inmates were involved in extortion from within the penitentiary.
In its national evaluation of Mexican prisons, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) rated the situation at Chiconautla as “serious” due to a lack of security measures and guards, insufficient disciplinary penalties, self-rule by the inmates and the prevalence of extortion and bribery.
Source: El Universal (sp)