Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Islas Marías prison, ‘symbol of oppression,’ to become arts center

“We should have more schools and fewer prisons,” President López Obrador said today while announcing that the Islas Marías prison will become an arts center.

A federal prison has operated on one of the four islands in the Islas Marías archipelago, located about 100 kilometers off the coast of Nayarit, since 1905 when dictator Porfirio Díaz sent political prisoners to work in the islands’ salt mines.

Over the years, the prison population has fluctuated from 300 to 3,000.

The president said the island prison has been a symbol of oppression and the site of human rights violations.

He said it currently houses 600 low-risk inmates, 200 of whom will be released. The other 400 will be transferred to prisons closer to their home states. Prison employees will also be transferred.

[wpgmza id=”151″]

“The island will be transformed into a center for the arts, for culture, and to learn about the environment and nature, and the flora and fauna of these and other islands,” López Obrador said.

The Islas Marías were declared a biosphere reserve in 2000 and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.

The president recalled that former South African leader Nelson Mandela spent most of his 27-year imprisonment on an island penal colony not unlike the Islas Marías. He told reporters that the islands would present an opportunity to learn from the past.

“This will become an island for children and young people, with camps for them to learn about how these models of punishment must disappear.”

Environment Secretary Josefa González Blanco Ortíz explained that activities will include hiking, wildlife watching, sports, theater, writing classes and literature workshops. One particular work to be studied will be Walls of Water by José Revueltas, who was once imprisoned at Islas Marías.

Source: Reforma (sp), Animal Político (sp), ADN Político (sp)

CORRECTION: The photo that initially appeared with this story was not Islas Marías, but Alcatraz. We regret the error.

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
A bird flies over the wetlands with the city skyline in the background

Director says Lake Texcoco Ecological Park will be inaugurated in August

0
The huge recreational park and reserve covers an area 17 times larger than Mexico City's Chapultepec Park.
The authorities confiscated 3,920 kilograms of material presumed to be methamphetamine, along with precursor chemicals and lab materials.

Authorities shut down second-largest drug lab found during AMLO’s term

2
The bust is the second significant blow to drug cartels this month after the Navy seized nearly 90 tonnes of a precursor chemical in Colima.
Inland Mexico should prepare for heavy to intense rainfall throughout the rest of the week.

The week starts off wet and windy across Mexico

1
Some areas will see over 100 millimeters of accumulated rainfall as two new tropical waves move over Mexico.