Latin America

7 inmates killed in Mexico prison riot


At least seven inmates have been killed in a prison riot in Mexico’s northeastern state of Tamaulipas, officials say.

According to Tamaulipas security officials, the incident took place on Saturday in a detention facility in the city of Altamira, situated some 480 kilometers (300 miles) south of the Mexico-US border.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said that the prisoners, aged 20 to 59, lost their lives in a fight that broke out in one cellblock.

The riot happened at about 6 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), the officials stated.

Prison officials said nine prisoners, who had problems with those killed in the riot, were responsible for beginning the fight.

Reports say that two people were wounded and nine others were arrested.

In January 2012, 31 prisoners died in a riot in the same prison.

Prisons in Mexico are scenes of frequent violence, riots, killings and escapes.

In December 2012, 17 people, including six guards, were killed in a prison riot in the city of Gomez Palacio.

The incident occurred in the Durango state, when inmates were trying to escape from the prison and running through tunnels below the facility.

Clashes took place as guards tried to stop a massive prison break. Guards fired shots in the air to curb the riot then exchanged gunfire when there was no response.

Also in September 2012, more than 130 prisoners in Mexico escaped from a jail close to the US border through a tunnel.

Mass prison breaks have been on the rise in Mexico over the past few years and penitentiary officials are often blamed for complicity with drug gangs.

Since 2010, several mass jailbreaks have been reported in Mexico. Over 140 inmates escaped from a prison in the border city of Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas in December that year.

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