Ciudad Juárez (Mexico) (AFP) – With a lot of kissing and tears, Jorge Armando Perez finally tied the knot with his fiancée Corina Chavez at an emotional ceremony inside a prison in Mexico where a total of 63 couples got hitched.
Perez, who has lived his entire life in El Paso, Texas, was deported to Mexico seven months ago to begin serving a 40-year sentence for extortion in a prison just across the border in the northern city of Ciudad Juarez.
– To have, to hold and to visit every week –
And it was there that the 37-year-old met Chavez some three years ago. Together they have been raising six children, four from previous relationships.
Holding his hand to seal their union in front of family members and officials, his 35-year-old wife pledged to visit him each Wednesday and Saturday and “every day possible” at this facility, which houses some 3,100 prisoners.
– ‘She is very beautiful’ –
Others had less time to wait before being reunited with their new spouses, with one bride saying she had two years before her new husband finished a sentence for drug possession.
“We love each other very much, he loves me and I love him and we want to make a life for ourselves outside of here,” she told AFP, declining to give her name.
“She is very beautiful,” beamed the newly-wedded inmate, who had showered his beloved with chocolates, cakes and pictures he himself had made in jail.
– ‘Strengthening the family bond’ –
Through the weddings, local authorities are seeking to give legal security to the partner and children of those inside.
“But above all, it strengthens the family bond and the acquisition of values within the family,” said prison director Rene Lopez Ortiz.