A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Side effect of blockage of cell-phone calls in Mexican prisons: Nearby homes and businesses lose service

Baja California Sen. Alejandro González Alcocer said that the blockage of cell phone calls in Mexican prisons is having a side effect, namely the loss of service to nearby homes, Frontera reported. Story in Frontera (PDF).

The paper said that because La Mesa prison in Tijuana and the Mexicali penitentiary are located in urban areas, cell-phone service is not blocked there. If true, this would be the loss of a $1.6 million investment in a cell-phone blocking system.

González, a former Baja California governor, is the president of the Senate's Justice Committee. He said corruption reigns in prisons, where guard let guns, phones, drugs and other items enter the facilities for a price.
A Los Angeles Times story published Monday about extortion in Mexico said many extortion calls are made from Mexican prisons.
August story about $1.6 million system to block cell phone calls set up in La Mesa prison
An apparent previous system also blocked neighbors' calls. Story, SintesisTV.
In Guayaquil, Ecuador, wireless phone bases were set up in a home near a prison, allowed inmates to use a wireless phone inside a prison there. Story, El Universo.