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Urban explorer finds abandoned prison previously used to house cartel criminals

An abandoned prison where notorious cartel members were confined has been found by an urban explorer.

Jose Flores, who boasts 6.1 million followers on TikTok and 50,000 followers on Instagram, entered the former jail in Monterrey Nuevo Leon, Mexico, through a window with a friend.

In two eerie videos viewed 1.1 million and 510,000 times respectively, he explored the now-rundown facility the Topo Chico Preventive and Social Reintegration Centre, which used to house dangerous cartel criminals.

The Topo Chico Preventive and Social Reintegration Centre was a state prison in Monterrey Nuevo Leon, Mexico, that was inaugurated in 1943.

The prison closed in September 2019 with plans to turn it into the headquarters of the Historical Archive of Nuevo León, but it has since been left in disrepair.

Flores told Jam Press: “The prison was closed due to the great insecurity within it and because there was no type of control by the authorities. Inside Topo Chico, prisoners did what they wanted and lived in deplorable conditions. Several riots were carried out by the inmates due to the different rival gangs in the place. The prisoners included murderers and notorious rapists in Mexico.”

“Inside the prison, it feels like someone is watching you all the time,” he continued, adding: “It has a very heavy vibe and strange sounds echoing all the time.”

In February 2016, 49 inmates were killed and 12 were injured during a fight between rival members from the Zetas Cartel and the Gulf Cartel.

The riot caused fires in the kitchen, food cellar and other parts of the prison.

A second fight in June that year left three inmates dead and 21 injured.

The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) said overcrowding and understaffing led to the tragic riots and the prison was closed shortly afterwards.

On TikTok, viewers also found the facility eerie, with one person writing: “It resembles the prison that appears in The Walking Dead,” while another said: “In that jail, I know there is someone watching.”

However, according to user Alan Alcaraz, the prison was not “abandoned”.

“They did not abandon it, the inmates were moved to two new prisons and they demolished that one to make a public park and left only the main pavilions,” he wrote.