I’ve been dead to the world, strapped to a couch in San Diego (cat-sitting for a week) with the worst stomach virus I’ve ever had in my life. When I finally surfaced for a bit yesterday, I was hit with the news of the Tijuana prison riots.
“It was on the front page of The New York Times,” said one of my friends over the phone as I writhed in pain and eyed the porcelain god. “Maybe this is a good time not to be in Tijuana.”
I was recently sent a book by San Diego author Sam Warren, Tales from the Tijuana Jails. I haven’t made it very far yet, but his descriptions of the inside sound pretty insane.
“The infamous El Pueblito (little village) penitentiary across the border in Tijuana held four drug stores (heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and marijuana) open 24/7 for prisoner’s convenience. Prisoners who have money can rent space in apartments, cells, or on the floor. Others sleep out side on the ground in all weather. Over 7,000 in a prison built to hold 1,500 that, in addition to the inmates, their wives and children are also included.”
Take away food and water for a few days and the place sounds like the perfect recipe for a riot.