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Saturday, September 1, 2012

100 Prison Inmates Exchange Vows In Mass Wedding Ceremony In Jail


More than 100 inmates married at a
Mexican border prison on Friday in a
collective ceremony meant to give their
families legal rights for visits and for court
proceedings.

The Civil Registry Office director of
Chihuahua state, who officiated, said the
mass wedding is part of a government's
strategy to regularise the inmates so they
can better incorporate back into life once
they end their sentence.

The couples said "I do" collectively.

Mexican prisons often hold collective
weddings - but this is one of the largest in
the region, which has been hit hard by drug
violence in recent years.

The head of the prison, Carlos Daniel
Gutierrez, said the state's governor was the
one who came up with the idea.
"He has given us the order to support the
inmates, so those families that were in a
common-law marriage or that didn't have a
way of getting married are able to get their
conjugal visits and make the family the
priority. So it's better that they were legally
married," he said.

Under the watchful eyes of prison guards
and police dogs, more than 100 couples
enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and waited
for their turn to exchange rings.

Some of the women dressed in wedding
gowns for the ceremony, others simply held
flowers on their special day.

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