At least 21 die in Mexico jail riot


Federal police pass by relatives of inmates waiting for word from inside
Daylife photo from Reuters Pictures

At least 21 prisoners died in a jail riot in Mexico near the Texas border on Monday when inmates from rival gangs staged a gun battle and set fire to the building.

The riot started in the early hours in the prison in Reynosa, a rundown manufacturing city in northeastern Mexico where the powerful Gulf drug cartel is active.

The inmates attacked each other with knives and guns for about three hours, then resorted to setting fires with matches and gasoline taken from prison workshops.

“There was a shootout and then a fire. There are charred bodies among the dead,” said a spokesman at the local attorney general’s office who declined to be named.

While ambulances waited for police to bring out victims and military helicopters flew overhead, Jose Ives Soberon, police chief for the local Tamaulipas state, told Mexican radio the death toll had risen to 21 men…

Heavily armed soldiers quelled the fight and surrounded the prison and anti-riot police with body armor patrolled the prison rooftops to prevent further disturbances.

I’ve known a few folks who’ve done hard time. The tale always goes – the first people the cons set out to maim and kill are each other.

Folks I know who worked on the admin side of slammers say the same. I’m not surprised.

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