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  • Social Readaptation Prison No. 9, Juarez, Mexico, Dec. 27, 2020.

    Social Readaptation Prison No. 9, Juarez, Mexico, Dec. 27, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 January 2021
Opinion

Previous Mexican governments signed nine billionaire contracts with private companies for the construction and management of prisons.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) reaffirmed that contracts granted to private companies for the management of prisons will be canceled as public spending derived from those legal obligations surpasses US$3,821 billion.

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AMLO described the contracts as "a profound example of corruption," while announcing the beginning of legal processes to conclude "in a good manner" the concessions.

He mentioned that the monthly cost for each prisoner was estimated at over US$5,303, which represents an expenditure of around US$177 per day.

"These are companies with strong ties to politicians and this is what we do not want to happen again in the country," he said. 

Security Secretary Rosa Rodriguez recalled that nine contracts were awarded by former President Felipe Calderon (2006-2012)  to private companies for the construction and management of prisons in such states as Sonora, Guanajuato, Durango, Oaxaca, and Durango. 

Noting that the prison's management by the private initiative was set for a period of 22 years, Rodriguez informed that these companies received 72 percent of a US$1 billion budget approved last year.

"In the end, the facilities will not be in hands of the government, they are going to be owned by the companies... it was a looting, as never seen in Mexico's history," AMLO said referring to the contracts' retention clauses.

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