Sunday, June 5, 2016

Prison Fight Leaves 3 Dead, 14 Wounded in Mexico

MONTERREY, Mexico – A fight at the Topo Chico penitentiary in the northern Mexican industrial city of Monterrey left three inmates dead and 14 others wounded, officials said on Thursday.

The fight occurred at 9:24 p.m. Wednesday at the prison, where 49 inmates died in February in a fight, one of the deadliest incidents ever in a Mexican penitentiary.

The dead inmates have been identified as Eldemiro Guadalupe Gonzalez, Jesus Ledezma and Jesus Orlando Galindo, Nuevo Leon Gov. Jaime Rodriguez said in a Twitter post.

The wounded prisoners “are being treated” by doctors and five were transported to a hospital, the governor said.

“Regarding the incidents ... at Topo Chico, the investigation is ongoing after the quick actions of the Civil Force,” Rodriguez said.

The fight involved members of rival factions of the Los Zetas drug cartel, just like in February, and the inmate who instigated the clashes earlier this year was once gain involved.

The three inmates were killed with blows and sharp weapons.

The security forces regained control of the prison around midnight and officials allowed inmates’ relatives to enter and assess the men’s condition.

Representatives of different human rights groups went to Topo Chico to try to determine what sparked the fight.

The Feb. 11 fight inside the Topo Chico penitentiary started over officials’ decision to transfer dangerous inmates to other prisons.

The fight occurred in Topo Chico’s C2 and C3 cell blocks, where inmates armed with shanks, bottles, bats and sticks fought after setting fire to the food storage area, and the blaze spread to the cells housing inmates.

The Topo Chico prison riot, one of the deadliest in the past 30 years in Mexico, was brought under control with the intervention of army soldiers, marines and the Federal Police.

Federal officials are working to overhaul state prison systems, which are plagued by “impunity and corruption,” Government Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio told Radio Formula.

Topo Chico is one of Nuevo Leon’s oldest penitentiaries and houses around 3,800 inmates.

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