Mexico to close infamous island penal colony

Posted at 11:06 AM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 11:06:24-05

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he will close a famed island penal colony off the country's Pacific coast.

Lopez Obrador says the federal prison on the largest of the Islas Marias will be converted into a cultural and environmental education center. About 200 of its approximately 600 inmates will be released, with the rest relocated to other prisons.

The prison founded in 1905 on Maria Madre passed through periods of infamous brutality. When Panama closed its Isla Coiba penal colony in 2004, Isla Marias was the last one remaining in the Americas.

Lopez Obrador said Monday the new cultural center will be named after Jose Revueltas, who was imprisoned there and wrote the novel "Walls of Water."