Three of the nine inmates who escaped from the Tula prison (Hidalgo) in the middle of an armed attack at dawn on Wednesday have been recaptured by the authorities. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reported the arrest without giving names or details and has indicated that the investigation is continuing to apprehend the other six fugitives, as well as those involved in the escape. The president added that “those who participated have already been fully identified” and that they all have a criminal record for theft of fuel, kidnapping and homicide. In addition, there are at least eight other detainees linked to the escape, according to local media reports.
José Antonio Maldonado Mejía, alias El Michoacano, leader of the Pueblos Unidos armed group, continues on the list of fugitives, as confirmed by the Hidalgo attorney, Alejandro Habib, in a radio interview with journalist Carmen Aristegui. The criminal leader had been arrested last Friday in the municipality of Texcoco, State of Mexico, for the crime of homicide in a joint operation between the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors. “It is also related to other crimes of the common jurisdiction, such as kidnapping,” said the official. With him, his brother Mariano Maldonado Mejía and seven other alleged cartel members escaped.
In Hidalgo there had been no record of “an operation by a commando of this nature with that firepower” that the attackers showed, Habib has acknowledged. Nine alleged members of the Pueblos Unidos criminal group managed to escape from the largest prison in the State of Hidalgo, 70 kilometers from Mexico City, with the help of an armed group that broke into the prison facilities around 4 o’clock in the morning. aboard a gas truck.
The three and a half ton unit was modified with a series of accessories that allowed them to break down the main and secondary gates of the jail. In addition, the criminals threatened the guards to enter, leaving at least two injured. According to the prosecutor, at least 10 people who used weapons for the exclusive use of the army and six vehicles participated in the operation. “Two burning vehicles were used simultaneously as a distractor, it was a very coordinated type of operation,” he said.
Habib has detailed that the three escapees were recaptured by the Municipal Police of Tula, and that other people have been made available for their active participation “in the crime of evasion.” It has also ensured that there are several arrest warrants, so that both Maldonado Mejía and the other fugitives can be detained “at any time for other types of crimes, such as carrying weapons, drug dealing or some other criminal conduct that ends up being related to crime. evasion”. In addition to the fact that prison staff are being investigated for their possible involvement in the events.
According to local media reports, the three recaptured inmates have been identified as Abel M., 21; Juan Valentín R., 23 years old, and Román F., 35 years old. In addition, eight members of the armed command that freed the prisoners have been detained in the last hours, according to reports from Tv Azteca. It has transpired that one of them was captured in Texcoco, State of Mexico, after trying to bribe the authorities with 9,000 pesos.
The armed group Pueblos Unidos entered the Mexican crime scene this summer. Its members were presented with propaganda videos in which they promised to protect the population from the cartels dedicated to the theft of fuel. However, as is common in the emergence of self-defense groups, their members have recently been accused of committing this crime known as huachicoleo.
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