• Short Summary

    Isla Madre, in the Islas Marias Archipelago seventy miles off the coast Mexico, seems like a tropical paradise.

  • Description

    Isla Madre, in the Islas Marias Archipelago seventy miles off the coast Mexico, seems like a tropical paradise.

    And it's hard to believe that the people living there are actually murderers, drug smugglers and robbers, serving sentences of up to thirty years in idyllic surroundings with their families for company, no bars at the windows, guards taking life easy in hammocks, and no-one on duty in the watchtower.

    It wasn't always like that.

    In 1905, Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz turned the island into an escape-proof nightmare for dangerous criminals and political prisoners... similar to Devil's Island in French Ouiana, South America.

    But when Luis Echeverria became President, he immediately set out to improve the lot of prisoners, and in 1970 passed a law giving them better conditions. Isla Madre was first on the list.

    There are 1000 prisoners on the island, many of whom have their families with them.

    One hundred marines, 50 technicians and other Government employees, two priests and six schoolteachers make up the prison staff.

    Many of the prisoners are allowed to build their own houses, and all are paid a salary for work they do in various agricultural projects. A ceramics factory and a clothing factory are soon to be built on the island.

    The "prisoners" take life easily, spending considerable time relaxing in the sun, as do their guards.

    A small gun-boat makes regular patrols of the island, and is one of the few outward signs that Isla Madre is a prison.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA8C4R805UTJBDRF2N594P16YAR
    Media URN:
    VLVA8C4R805UTJBDRF2N594P16YAR
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/11/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:27:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment