At least 46 killed in Honduras prison riot

(CMR) At least 46 people were killed in a riot at a women's prison in Honduras on Tuesday after a fight reportedly broke out between rival gangs, with one gang setting a cell alight.

The deadly riot and fire occurred at the National Women’s Penitentiary for Social Adaptation in Tamara, about 20 miles northwest of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Most of those who died were believed to be killed in the fire; however, some people were shot, stabbed or beaten to death

Honduran President Xiomara Castro has since fired the country’s security minister. The removal of Ramón Sabillón as the minister of security is part of Castro’s resolve to “retake control of the prison system in Honduras,” according to state-owned Channel 8 news.

“I am going to take drastic measures!” Castro said, adding that she believed the riot was instigated by street gangs “with the knowledge and acquiescence of security authorities.”

Yuri Mora, the spokesman for Honduras’ national police investigation agency, told the Associated Press that the death toll could rise further.  At least seven inmates were hospitalized with gun or knife wounds, Mora said.

He also indicated that it would be difficult to identify the burned bodies.

Honduras has a history of deadly prison incidents, with more than 350 dying in a prison fire in central Honduras in 2012. A fire sparked by a short circuit killed at least 103 inmates in 2004.

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Renae Stampp

Renae Stampp

A regional writer with almost 10 years of experience working in various news media including two major media houses in Bermuda and Jamaica. Renae provides professional content for our regional and international audience.

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