Seven officials at a prison in San Cristobal de las Casas, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, were detained as possible accomplices in the escape of two inmates last week, the Attorney General's Office said.

The AG's office said in a communique that it has taken criminal action against those in custody, including the prison warden and a commander of the guards, for suspected participation in the escape of two convicts from cellblock No. 5 in San Cristobal de las Casas.

According to the document, the two inmates escaped over the wall on Jan. 16, for which the guards on duty at the time were summoned to give a deposition.

As a result of their statements, the seven officials are suspected of being involved in the jailbreak and now face penal charges.

The prisoners who escaped are Pedro Perez, tried for the crimes of kidnapping and robbery with violence, and Lucio Bautista, sentenced for homicide.

The AG's office said that, together with the Safety and Citizens' Protection Secretariat, it has launched an operation to find the two criminals at large.

Jailbreaks are frequent at Mexican prisons and are often carried out with the complicity of penitentiary authorities.

Last September, 131 inmates escaped from Piedras Negras Prison, one of the biggest jailbreaks ever at a Mexican jail.

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