GUATEMALA CITY – At least 12 people were injured on Monday in a riot at the Las Gaviotas juvenile correctional facility, Guatemalan authorities said.
Interior Minister Francisco Rivas said at a press conference that the riot broke out as a result of a smaller brawl between two groups of inmates: the infamous Mara Salvatrucha gang and a smaller group known as “los paisas.”
Emergency medical personnel transported 12 injured prisoners to two public hospitals in the capital.
Rivas said that the injured suffered beatings during the brawl and/or fell off of roofs onto which they had climbed.
He said that security forces have reestablished partial control of the facility, located in the southern part of the capital, and that the inmates are mainly demanding better food and more family visiting time.
Four prisoners managed to flee during the riot but were recaptured by police in a storeroom nearby where they had hidden.
The National Civil Police deployed 250 officers to the facility, according to the institution’s warden, Nery Ramos.
The facility has a capacity of 250 inmates, but in October 2016 some 460 were reported to be housed there, according to the latest Guatemalan Human Rights Commission report.
On July 3, another riot broke out at Las Gaviotas after prosecutors came to investigate the deaths of two teenagers incarcerated there.