At least 17 people were killed, including 10 guards, during an attack against the Ciudad Juarez prison on Sunday, which resulted in the escape of Los Mexicles gang leadership and at least 25 other gang members.
Mexican officials reported that at around 0700 local time, gunmen in armored vehicles assaulted the prison. Two guards at the entrance were fired on and killed while the gunmen breached the prison, where they located the cells of Los Mexicles gang leader Ernesto ‘El Neto’ Pinon and his second in command Cesar ‘El Chilin’ Vega.
Firefights continued between the gunmen and responding authorities, which resulted in two attackers being killed. Pinon and Vega escaped in the armored vehicles while the rest of the inmates fled on foot, reportedly carjacking people in the area for getaway vehicles.
Los Mexicles originated as a Mexican-America prison gang, but morphed into a Sinaloa cartel-aligned street gang that is active in Ciudad Juarez. Gang members act as enforcers for the cartel, as well as being known to carry out robberies and murders against civilians and rival gangs. Pinon was convicted in 2010 for kidnapping and murder charges and was serving a 224 year long sentence when he escaped.