BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The head of the federal prison system
resigned Monday, departing amid accusations of rampant corruption among
Alfredo Ayala submitted his resignation in the wake of accusations that
guards sold "good behavior" certificates or allowed some prisoners out
prematurely. Ayala denied the corruption and blamed exaggerations in the local
media for his downfall.
Among the more severe charges, a federal judge last week alleged that corrupt
guards had permitted inmates to leave a penitentiary with instructions to kill him.
Judge Jorge Banos has spent two years investigating corruption in the prisons.
Authorities on Sunday sacked the leaders of the prison unit that coordinates
guards. Interior Minister Federico Storani said the shakeup marked the start of a
"thorough cleansing" of the system, news agency Diarios y Noticias said.
President Fernando De la Rua, who took office in December, has said battling
corruption would be a hallmark of his four-year administration. Among other
areas, his administration is also probing corruption in state health care
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.