41 killed in riot Honduras women’s prison



At least 41 people have been killed in a riot at a women’s prison in Honduras on Tuesday.

It is understood that a fight broke out between rival gangs, after which one gang set a cell alight.

Officials say the fire caused the majority of the deaths but some of the victims were shot.

The country’s Deputy Security Minister, Julissa Villanueva, has declared a state of emergency and promised to crack down on the violence.

She also authorised the “immediate intervention” of firefighters, police and military.

“The loss of human lives will not be tolerated,” Ms Villanueva said.

It is unclear if all of those killed were inmates of the jail, which is roughly 20km (12 miles) from the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, and holds around 900 people.

Several other prisoners have been taken to hospital.

Delma Ordonez, who represents family members of the inmates, told local media part of the prison had been “completely destroyed” in the violence.

Videos posted on social media show a huge cloud of grey smoke rising from the women’s prison.

President Xiomara Castro, who last year launched a crackdown on gangs, said on social media that she was “shocked by the monstrous murder of women” and would take “drastic measures” in response.

Ms Villanueva said investigations would be launched to prosecute “all those persons in prison who are in collusion with organised crime”.

Honduras is known for corruption and gang violence, which have infiltrated government institutions and seen the homicide rate soar.

Along with neighbours El Salvador and Guatemala, the country is a major transit route for cocaine coming from South America to the United States.

It also has a history of deadly prison riots, which are often linked to organised crime.

At least 18 people were killed in gang violence at a prison in the northern port city of Tela in 2019.

(BBC News)


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