Earlier reports that 17 people died during a prison break attempt in Durango, Mexico have been updated to reflect more losses. Now the number of inmates and guards lost is at 22, with the possibility of more pending. Of those 22, 13 were prisoners and nine were prison guards who attempted to "thwart the inmates' attempted prison break."
It was reported that an official in Durango spoke off the record about the prison break and its rising death toll, according to The Washington Post. The attempt took place in the local prison and left a scene of chaos and commotion. Inmates managed to smuggle firearms inside the building and began shooting at the guard towers. They then tried to flee through a back wall and tunnel; guards fired back to "contain the revolt," The Global Post noted.
No reason was given for this particular uprising, though jailbreaks are common in Mexico. In September, 132 inmates managed to escape the prison in Piedras Negras through a tunnel, or so media was led to believe. While it's true that 132 inmates did escape, The Global Post noted, "the inmates all walked out the prison door."
As uprisings and escapes become more common in Mexico, guards are finding themselves helpless and overpowered. Many also cite corruption, given that some of the prisoners have connections to drug cartels and are able to finance their escape.
"Authorities attribute the jailbreaks to drug gangs trying to swell their ranks as they fight bloody turf battles throughout Mexico," the Huffington Post noted.
"The only thing this outbreak does is leave evidence of a failed penitentiary system, like many other tasks of the outgoing government. All of the authorities are responsible and above all, we see that the majority of the inmates that escaped are federal inmates," Institutional Revolutionary Party leader Manlio Fabio Beltrones told The Global Post.
The prison in Durango has come back under the control of authorities, thanks to the efforts of local and federal authorities. The death toll could still rise given that the number of people involved has not been confirmed. For now, though, it remains at a high 22.