STORY: Mexico has flown 200 military personnel to the U.S. border city of Ciudad Juarez to fight organized crime there, days after a deadly prison riot, and while a manhunt is underway for escaped convicts.
That's according to the defense ministry on Tuesday.
That’s hours after the director of the prison – which saw guards and priosners killed in a riot and breakout on New Year’s Day – was fired.
Chihuahua state prosecutors said Tuesday Alejandro Alverado was not only dismissed but he and others are under investigation for a possible role in the jailbreak.
Nineteen people died on Sunday after gunmen attacked the prison a few miles south of the U.S. border.
They killed guards and inmates – and triggered a mass escape that included cartel kingpin Ernesto Alfredo Pinon de la Cruz, also known as "El Neto."
After federal authorities arrived to restore order, they found a so-called ‘VIP zone’ in the prison full of drugs and cash.
On Tuesday, families of inmates lined up, hoping to speak with authorities.
“I came to ask for my nephew. Nobody has informed us about them so far. We don’t know how they are, anything. We’re worried. We want to know about our relatives, get them to talk to us about them – where they are, if they are good. We just want to know if they are OK or what’s happening.”
On Monday night, Chihuahua's government said seven people had died during subsequent police clashes as part of the hunt to find the escaped inmates.
Two of the dead were police.
Sunday’s events mark one of the highest death tolls from prison violence in Mexico in recent memory.