Women's prison in Mexico plagued by food poisoning and bad care is hit by a wave of 8 suicides

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A women’s prison in Mexico plagued by food poisoning and poor medical care has now been hit by a wave of eight suicides in the last 4 1/2 months, authorities confirmed Thursday.

The federal prisons bureau confirmed the suicides in a statement, and said it was taking steps to improve the situation at the women's prison in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City.

The office said it had changed prison managers and increased sports, cultural and handicraft activities for the prison’s approximately 1,000 inmates.

Reports from earlier this year found that conditions were harsh at the prison, with inmates often served rotting food. The governmental National Human Rights Commission said 400 inmates suffered food poisoning in outbreaks in 2022.

That report said the women were not given appropriate medical care after falling ill; many were not given medications because none were available.

A statement issued in July by a coalition of rights and advocacy groups said the lack of medical care constituted “a systematic violation of imprisoned women's right to health care,” and said it was “a serious violation of human rights and dignity.”

The federal prison had seen inmates transferred in from other states in recent years.