Mexican prisoners discuss drug smuggling

February 16, 2011 7:11:40 PM PST
Juarez, Mexico has become the world's deadliest city, with the drug cartels is responsible for literally thousands of killings there every year.

It is a dangerous and deadly place that we recently braved to get an inside look at the drug prisons, speaking with notorious drug cartel members.

The deadly crime scenes in Juarez are everywhere, every night.

In our short, two-day visit of walking these streets, more than a dozen people were gunned down. Every day the papers blare the ugly headlines, more assassinations, more police killings, more drug cartel violence.

Some cartel henchmen are captured, but most get away.

Those who are arrested and convicted are brought to the largest prison in Juarez and one of the toughest in Mexico.

After walking through several gates, through dimly lit tunnels, down stairwells and past dozens of heavily armed guards, we finally made it.

Behind a door and through additional gates, we are told, are some of the most ruthless, hardened, drug cartel thugs in Mexico.

"Why are you here in this prison? You killed someone?" we asked one inmate, whose name is Joaquin.

"No, it was drugs home," he replied.

"Everyone here is involved in drugs uh? And what did you do with drugs?"

"Violence."

"What kind of violence?"

Joaquin won't talk about the violence part -- too gruesome, he tells us privately.

"So what do you think about the drug cartel. I mean, they're pretty powerful?" we asked Joaquin.

"I don't know. I mean that's not something I want to talk about."

"You don't want to talk about it?"

The cartel mafia has its fingers in every cell of this prison. Divulging too many secrets could be a death sentence.

Still, each of these prisoners has a horrifying story to tell about the cartel, the killings and the disturbing ties to Texas.

"Why are you here?" we asked another inmate.

"Because, uh, drugs," he responded.

"You were selling drugs? Um, selling to Americans?"

"Yes."

There are nearly 3,000 inmates in the Juarez prison, and most of them -- more than 90 percent -- are here because of the drug cartel. Some are involved in dealing, transporting, and even killing for the cartel.

"I'm here for murder," inmate Ricardo said.

"For murder? And who did you kill?"

"Somebody."

Ricardo doesn't want to talk about who he gunned down for the cartel. But on any given night in the city, drug violence is responsible for nearly 10 killings a day.

"How many people did you kill? One, two?" we asked Ricardo.

"I don't kill nobody, man," he replied.

"But you're here for murder."

"I here for murder but I don't kill nobody."

Last year, the cartel was blamed for nearly 3,500 murders in Juarez. A small handful of them were Americans.

"I want to go home, but I don't feel I did anything too bad, you know?" Joaquin said.

But even more troubling is that for every drug thug captured and thrown in this prison, are thousands more roaming the streets.

Wednesday night on Eyewitness News at Ten, we'll show you the Texas ties many of these drug lords have to Texas.

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