Escaped Mexican Inmates Used ... Front Door

128 still missing after Piedras Negras mass escape

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 20, 2012 4:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – One of the biggest jailbreaks in Mexican history happened earlier this week, but it turns out the inmates didn't need to break anything, CNN reports. Authorities say that instead of going through a tunnel and a fence as earlier reported, most of the 131 escapees simply walked out the front door of the Piedras Negras prison, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. The prison director and 15 other employees have been detained pending possible criminal charges, reports the AP.

The number of escapees was revised after three female inmates were found hiding in the prison, and revised again after two other prisoners were found to have escaped. Mexican troops and federal police are searching the state of Coahuila for the inmates but have only recaptured one man, a car thief. Two other inmates were arrested after a shootout with state police on Tuesday. Officials believe the Zetas cartel organized the escape, possibly in an effort to boost its ranks.

If the prison's remaining inmates decide to make a break for it, they'll have to get past that guy at the left first.   (AP Photo/Adriana Alvarado)
Rapid response Coahuila state police stand at a checkpoint in the city of Piedras Negras, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Adriana Alvarado)
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