Mexico’s prisoners face extortion fees to live

The fees demanded for basic necessities and security have created complex and profitable prison economies that involve both officials and criminals alike.
The fees demanded for basic necessities and security have created complex and profitable prison economies that involve both officials and criminals alike.

By Elijah Stevens / InSight Crime

Prisoners in Mexico are paying enormous fees for essential needs and physical security, a news report says, highlighting the role of prisons in fueling illegal markets, corruption, and organized crime.

Mexican prisoners are paying between $150 and $300 per month for basic services to survive throughout their sentences, according to the BBC. In order to receive essential human needs, including drinking water and bathing, as well as protection, prisoners across Mexico pay fees to prison guards, officials and other prisoners.

To have a place to sleep and a blanket, for example, prisoners pay around $6. Prisoners also have to pay for every change of their sanctioned uniforms — around $1.20 for each set. And in some prisons, inmates pay around $20 per day just to be counted on the official attendance list.

Communication with the outside world is also costly and difficult, as there are fees for phone cards as well as having a cellular phone, which can cost between $90 and $121. Additionally, families have to pay for visits, including individual fees for every door they pass through.

The profits from such fees are allegedly passed upwards to high-level officials, reported the BBC, although government officials deny this level of corruption.

http://www.insightcrime.org/news-briefs/mexico-prisoners-face-extortion

Mexico City hopes aerial system will beat traffic

Mexico City trafficQuartz – Mexico City officials have an elevated idea about how to deal with the city’s hellish traffic: Hover over it. The city’s science, technology and innovation department unveiled a prototype of an aerial transportation system that would float over the sea of cars, potholes and street protests that regularly disrupt life in the enormous metropolis.

http://qz.com/560918/mexico-city-hopes-floating-gondolas-will-beat-its-appalling-traffic/