MEXICO CITY – When they closed the last eastern colony of the hemisphere after more than a century, the Mexican authorities faced a confrontation: they had lost traces of 16 prisoners registered in the Islas Maria prison.
Most were later placed at other prisons on the mainland, Francisco Garduno, the head of Mexico's prison system, said Friday. They had apparently been transferred from the penal colony, but not hit by its rolls.
But Garduno said that two inmates were never found and are supposed to have escaped a prison rebellion in 2013, killing six people.
It was unclear whether the inmates attempted to come to the mainland – historically most who tried to drown in the experiment – or led into the hills of the main islands. There have long been rumors of escaping living on the island, known as "remontados".
Even some prison workers do not want to leave the main island, which is 70 kilometers (110 kilometers) from the Pacific coast of the Nayarit state.
Garduno said 117 of the 411 employees will continue to work on the island, which is scheduled to become a nature reserve and cultural center.
The last 652 inmates were transferred from the island at the end of February.