Local News
4:19 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

New Mexico Eyes Opening Deadly Prison Riot Site As Museum

The old state penitentiary in 2009.
Credit Denisse ~*~ via Flickr

  New Mexico may open as a museum the site of the 1980 bloody prison riot.

State Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel says strong public interest in tours of the closed "Old Main" prison offered during last year's New Mexico centennial celebration sparked the idea for a permanent museum.

Old Main was closed in 1988, eight years after the February 1980 riot in which inmates killed 33 fellow prisoners in a violent clash that included beheadings, amputations and burned bodies.

Officials say the museum south of Santa Fe could include tours, a restaurant and an inmate-staffed hobby shop.

The planned museum follows a trend in "dark tourism" to transform tragic sites into tourist attractions.

Retired Corrections Capt. Marcella Armijo says any museum needs to be truthful about events there.