The first time I visited CEFERESO number 16 “CPS-Morelos” was at the end of 2015, shortly before the women who were incarcerated in the federal penitentiary centers of Islas Marías and Nayarit were transferred to this prison. Thus, with the rushed – to say the least – relocation of women deprived of liberty to this center, it became the only female prison at the federal level. The facilities of this penitentiary center are of the highest quality, both for women and for children living with their mothers.
However, it would not matter if the center’s infrastructure was of the highest quality if the center’s administration was not level. If something distinguishes this prison is its staff. Although starting operations was complicated, over these almost four years, conditions have been generated in favor of the social reintegration of inmates. The directors of the center are, above all, humane with women deprived of liberty.
I personally know about the actions that they carry out in favor of women who have mental health problems, putting all their effort into finding ways to collaborate with institutions that can assist them and generating conditions so that they do not attempt against themselves. Also, they have found ways for inmates who are in a romantic relationship with other internal women to maintain their relationship, without implying violations of the regulation. It is promoted that the children of the inmates visit their mothers for special events organized on special days at least three times each year. Even toys collections are made so that they can give gifts to their children when they visit them. When the authorities seek to make special events such as a video call with the Pope or a boxing tournaments, they opt for this penitentiary center for how well it works. All thanks to its staff.
The good conditions, without saying that they are perfect, in which women deprived of liberty live are far from the conditions of the staff, mostly – for obvious reasons – women too. They wear the same uniforms as men, live far from their families and suffer – almost – the same confinement as inmates, see their children a couple of times a year, leave the right to health services to their families, so they run out of social security and medical care, they work shifts of 24 by 48 hours, although it is common for them to have to extend their work schedules. As if that were not enough, their lives are in constant danger.
This was demonstrated last Friday, when an armed command attacked the personnel of this center when they were about to board one of the buses that transport them to the CEFERESOin Puente de Ixtla, Morelos. So far, five deaths are reported. I still do not know the name of the people who lost their lives, whether I have known them or not, my admiration and recognition of their important work and sacrifice, my deepest condolences to their relatives. To the government, the implementation of a professional career service for prison staff is urgently resumed. We cannot allow the reduction of their benefits, we must improve their working conditions and give them the security that their functions merit. Do not go unpunished so cowardly attack.
Ricardo Solano Olivera, MSc.
Column originally published at https://laopinion.de/2019/05/14/un-cobarde-ataque/.