13 dead, 8 badly wounded in prison riot in north­ern Mex­ico

The Myanmar Times - - World -

AT LEAST 13 in­mates died in a prison riot in north­ern Mex­ico that au­thor­i­ties ended with lethal force, a state se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said late Tues­day.

Spokesman Aldo Fasci said the riot oc­curred at the state prison in Cadereyta and the death toll could climb be­cause eight peo­ple were in crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

All af­ter­noon Tues­day, des­per­ate fam­i­lies bat­tled au­thor­i­ties out­side the prison gates, de­mand­ing in­for­ma­tion about their rel­a­tives in­side as black smoke poured from sev­eral points in­side the fa­cil­ity.

Sev­eral hours of at­tempted ne­go­ti­a­tions failed and po­lice us­ing non­lethal force were un­able to quell the riot, Fasci said. So au­thor­i­ties de­cided to use lethal force to pro­tect the lives of the guards and the prison­ers.

Au­thor­i­ties could see through video mon­i­tors that at least one pris­oner had al­ready been killed and guards had been taken hostage, Fasci said. The guards were be­ing held and beaten on the roof.

“If they had not taken these de­ci­sions right now we would be talk­ing about many more dead,” Fasci said.

The trou­ble started Mon­day night when one of the half-dozen gangs that are nor­mally kept apart in­side the prison protested. The protest died down, but early Tues­day morn­ing fight­ing broke out and a pris­oner was killed and his body burned, Fasci said.

When po­lice first went in try­ing to take con­trol they were met by about 150 prison­ers who at­tacked them with metal tools and rub­ble from work that was be­ing car­ried out in­side the prison.

No guards were killed in the vi­o­lence, but a po­lice of­fi­cer was gravely wounded with a punc­tured lung.

It is 4,000 in­mates against 300 guards, Fasci said, adding the fa­cil­ity was not de­signed for that many prison­ers or prison­ers of the risk level it holds.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to keep them in or­der,” he said.

He said au­top­sies would be re­quired to de­ter­mine how many were killed by other in­mates and how many by au­thor­i­ties. – AP

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