Living in the shadow of the United States has taken a toll on Mexico, especially in the drug-addled North where cartels rule the streets, the economy and even the prisons. Mexican prisons are not like the ones in the States, they are worlds unto themselves. They have stores and apartments frying pans and wives. While the perimeters may seem to be controlled by the guards, the interiors of Mexican prisons are large, lawless housing complexes with stores, amenities, and well-established pecking orders. Mexican prisons are worlds unto themselves, and filled with desperate, hopeless, and powerful men. There is so much wrong with the Mexican prison system that I am unable to articulate my objections. I just think that it is really scary and not at all a place for people.
Damien Cave wrote an amazing article describing the Mexican prison system through the eyes of one brave Catholic priest: