MEXICO :  WELCOME to the tropical prison that some don't want to leave!..........

More than a century after Mexico  established  a prison on the Maria Islands - a Pacific archipelago eight hours by boat from the mainland - the country's new government has decided to close it.

But some prisoners don't want to leave the tropical jail. The inmates and guards on the islands  - the Islas Marias, as they are known in Spanish - stayed put even when powerful  Hurricane  Willa swept  over them in October 2018.

But they could do nothing to withstand the force of nature that is Mexican politics.

In  February, newly installed leftist President Andres Menuel Lopez Obrador decided to close the prison, saying islands - known for their beauty and diversity - should not be a testament to  ''punishment, torture and repression.''

The jail, established in 1905, will now become the Jose Revultas cultural center, named for a Mexican writer and political activist who was imprisoned here twice in the 1930s.

Situated on Isla Maria Madre, the largest island in the archipelago, the prison has held around 64,000  inmates throughout its history. Last month, the last 584 of them were sent to the mainland.

Low-risk inmates who were close to finishing their sentences were freed. The rest were sent to another prison in the arid, land-locked northern state of Coahuila.

The change was not necessarily welcome.

Most prisoners lived in semi-captivity on the island, free to roam about in the balmy weather beneath its tropical palm trees. Some even lived with their families.

''It's a drastic change for some of them. Here, they were used to living in semi-captivity,'' said prison guard Jose Becerra when AFP visited the island.

''They were calmly serving their time, living happily with their families. The change took them by surprise, and they were definitely sad to leave.''

Home To Low Risk Inmates : ISLA MADRE MADRE sits 130 kilometres [80 miles] off the mainland, a far-flung island surrounded by calm, turquoise waters and inhabited by pelicans, parrots and iguanas.

The prison consists of a series of cement houses where low-risk inmates lived, eight to a house, with cement beds and door-less bathrooms. Outside, they had an access to open-air gym, a garden, a woodworking shop and music classes.

The maximum-security building has more traditional cells, with steel bars, two beds per cell, a toilet and a small space to sit. It held 137 inmates before it closed -around one-fourth its capacity.

Today, the prison looks like a ghost town, its streets empty except for the occasional golf cart driven by the remaining guards, who have yet to be transferred to the mainland. [Agencies]

The honor and serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Great Prisons, continues.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!