MEXICO CITY—A dead infant found in a trash can inside a notorious Mexican prison has fueled allegations that the child’s body may have been used to smuggle drugs into the facility.
The body of a baby boy was discovered with an incision in its abdomen inside of the San Miguel prison in the state of Puebla, according to the state government. The suspicious circumstances of the child's death have led to speculation that the infant was used as a human drug mule, although the state government said it is still investigating the incident.
The baby—whose identity and family remain unknown—was discovered by an inmate who was looking for plastic bottles inside of the trash can in the prison in the eponymous state capital of Puebla just over a week ago. Initial reports said the baby was three-months-old when he died, but the state government recently claimed he was only six days old.
The news largely flew under the radar for several days until the non-profit Reinserta noticed the detail in a short clip in local press and began to investigate. Reinserta works with the country’s prison population, and is focused primarily on children who are being raised behind bars with their incarcerated parents. The organization also runs programs that help young offenders reintegrate into society upon release.
Reinserta released a statement saying that they “strongly condemn” the state government for this “heinous act.”
“The authorities are completely overwhelmed and are complicit in the acts of corruption that are happening inside the prison,” the statement read.
The group alleged that the San Miguel prison has been overtaken by the inmates who now produce drugs within its walls, regularly bring in female sex workers to service them, and even run dog fighting gambling rings on the inside. They then alleged dogs killed in those fights were thrown out in the trash, just like the deceased baby.
Saskia Niño de Rivera, the co-founder of Reinserta, appeared on Mexican news network Milenio and called the government's response to the baby’s death “absurd.”
She suggested that the incision on the baby’s abdomen indicates that the child “could have been used to bring drugs inside the prison.
She also expressed outrage that the government doesn’t seem to know how the baby got into the prison.
“How can it be that the authorities didn’t realize that a minor entered—alive or dead—and then never came out of the prison,” she said.
Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa finally addressed the scandal on Monday only after the death of the infant made news across Mexico. He said that the state attorney general’s office is investigating the incident.
Barbosa said: “It is a very serious matter. A lot of filth is going to appear in [this investigation] and we are going to make it public once everything has been looked into.”