TEGUCIGALPA – At least 13 inmates died Thursday during a brawl at a prison in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, the city’s mayor said.
“Unfortunately, there were 13 deaths,” Juan Carlos Zuniga told reporters, contradicting an earlier police report that one inmate was decapitated and another injured in the clash.
The police spokesman in San Pedro Sula, Julio Rodas, said the prison “is under control,” while acknowledging that security forces had yet to reach the area of the penitentiary where a fire broke out during the brawl.
“It’s not possible to establish any theory” of Thursday’s events inside the prison until authorities regain full control of the institution, prosecutor Marlene Banegas said.
Even so, she confirmed the mayor’s figure of 13 dead and ascribed the violence to a battle between rival groups for control of the prison.
The prosecutor also cited witnesses as saying that the combatants used knives, guns and a grenade.
The riot at the San Pedro Sula penitentiary came almost two months after 361 people – including an inmate’s wife – perished in a fire at the Comayagua Prison Farm in central Honduras. EFE