Mexico prison fight leaves 44 dead

Mexico prison fight leaves 44 dead

Monterrey : Mexico | Feb 19, 2012 at 7:22 PM PST
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Relatives of inmates react as they wait for news of their relatives outside the state prison in Apodaca, on the outskirts of Monterrey

A brutal fight between rival groups of prisoners left a toll of 44 dead prisoners in a prison in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, the U.S. border. The victims died of wounds from knives and beaten with sticks and stones, said state security spokesman Jorge Domene. Earlier, the official said the confrontation began at dawn, had been among the prison inmates and guards.Domene later explained that the fight could have been a smokescreen to cover the escape of prisoners, but did not say how many or what type.But he noted that areas of the prison where the confrontation occurred guarding prisoners accused of federal crimes and members of drug cartels and the Zetas Gulf bitter rivals.

"In the count, even if we can confirm the death toll, there are absences" of prisoners, the spokesman said. "Do not rule out the possibility of escape of prisoners, which can also be a phone that has generated the fight to be the distraction" for the escape, he added.As part of the confrontation of Apodaca in jail on the outskirts of the city of Monterrey, capital of Nuevo Leon, was a small fire after inmates burned part of your belongings.Nuevo Leon has become a center for fighting drug cartels that are fighting the square for shipping narcotics into the United States.

During the government of President Felipe Calderon has about 50,000 people died in clashes between drug cartels and security forces, including civilians who have died in crossfire.But the government's campaign against drugs has also increased significantly the number of prisoners in prisons.Domene said Apodaca prison overcrowding has a 80 percent derived from the detention of defendants charged with federal crimes like drug trafficking.In late August, alleged members of the Zetas fire to a casino in Monterrey, killing 52 people, which has been considered the worst attack against civilians by organized crime.

The Zetas, formed in late 1990 with deserters from elite corps of the Army, engaged in a warfare against the Gulf cartel, which was the armed wing, not only in Monterrey but also in the state of Veracruz, the Gulf of Mexico and Coahuila, also in the north.In early January, a fight in a prison in the city of Altamira, off coast of the Gulf of Mexico, left 31 inmates dead and 13 wounded.

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A suspected member of the Zeta drug cartel is presented to the media along with other suspects in Monterrey
A suspected member of the Zeta drug cartel is presented to the media along with other suspects in Monterrey
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