MONTERREY, Mexico: Mexican security forces used lethal force Tuesday to put down a prison riot in clashes that left at least 13 inmates dead, authorities said.
Unrest at the prison in Cadereyta in northeastern Nuevo Leon state broke out in the morning and was put down. But it flared again later as inmates started fires that sent up huge columns of black smoke visible from far away.
One prisoner died in that fire. Prisoners then took three guards hostage, and when talks with them went nowhere, security forces were sent in, said Aldo Fasci, a spokesman for the Nuevo Leon government, told reporters.
Police stormed the prison and inmates threw stones and struck them with iron bars, Fasci added.
Use of non-lethal force proved insufficient as some 250 inmates battled the security forces.
In the evening, “lethal force was used to prevent the killing of the three guards and so far the toll is 13 dead,” said Fasci. Another 26 people were injured.
Cadereyta is on the outskirts of Monterrey, the third largest city in Mexico.
Mexican jails are often rocked by riots, killings and escapes, especially those controlled by drug gangs. Most are overcrowded.
In 2016, a vicious fight between rival gangs left 49 dead in the Topo Chico jail, also in Nuevo Leon.—AFP