A riot in the prison in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon on early Thursday has left at least 52 prisoners dead, the state’s governor said.
In a press conference in the state capital of Monterrey, Governor Jamie Rodriguez Calderon said that the riot erupted between two criminal gangs in the blocks C2 and C3 of the prison complex.
The riot left 52 people dead and 12 others injured, including five in critical condition.
A fire broke out inside the prison’s storage facility, the governor said, refuting earlier reports that the blaze were set in the prison’s area for women and children.
Gangs led by Ivan Hernandez Cantu, alias “El Comandante Credo”, and Juan Pedro Salvador Zaldivar, alias “El Z 27” clashed and turned into the riot .Cantu is a leader of the Gulf Cartel while Zaldivar is a member of the Zetas Cartel.
The violence broke out in the early hours of Thursday morning, when a large number of prisoners took over parts of the facility, provoking a large-scale response from the police.
According to Milenio TV, prisoners used furniture and garbage to set one of the prison’s four buildings ablaze, a move likely to be done as a cover to help a group of prisoners escape.
No one has escaped the prison, the governor noted, while admitting that conditions in prisons across Mexico were often beyond the control of authorities.
“We are living a tragedy regarding the conditions being found in prisons and penal centers,” he said.
Some families of prisoners rushed to the scene for more information, but police had cordoned off the streets near the prison. A crowd gathered outside, demanding updates on their loved ones.
“We only want information. We have been here since midnight, we have been asking to speak to the mayor or to anyone who can tell us what happened. We know many people have died, that many have been injured but they tell us nothing,” a spokesperson for the families told local media.
“We saw the smoke, we saw the fire, we heard the gunshots and the screaming,” he said.
In the press conference, Calderon stated that none of the bodies had yet been identified but that work is still unfolding. Enditem