Thursday, May 19

Fight between MS-13 and Barrio 18 gang members in Honduras jail leaves 5 dead and 39 wounded

Military men are waiting outside La Tova prison, the scene of a brawl between inmates that left 5 dead and 39 wounded.

Orlando Sierra / AFP / Getty Images

The Government of Honduras has not indicated what measures it will take, if any, to avoid new incidents in prisons such as the one reported Thursday in La Tolva, where five people died and 39 others were injured.

“We cannot continue like this, they are three attacks on so-called maximum security prisons in less than 15 daysThis only generates uncertainty among the family members, ”said the president of the Association of Relatives Deprived of Liberty, Delma Ordóñez, who reported on the brawl.

The spokesperson insisted that it is President Juan Orlando Hernández who must seek the best people and make changes in the National Penitentiary Institute (INP), the entity in charge of improving the prison system in the country.

The maximum security jail, located in the municipality of Morocelí, department of El Paraíso, was the scene yesterday of a brawl between inmates of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 gangs.

So far, no person in charge of the INP has clarified the circumstances in which the events occurred and the actions to be taken to prevent further confrontations.

“There are 39 people injured, 15 of them were transferred to the Hospital Escuela, in Tegucigalpa, and there are five confirmed deaths in the penal center,” Ordóñez added to journalists.

Media in the country began reporting on the brawl around 8:00 am, local time. Initially, it only transpired that a prison policeman arrived injured in an ambulance at the Hospital Escuela, in the capital Tegucigalpa.

Honduras Jail
Members of the Armed Forces in Honduras and the Military Police arrived at La Tova prison to try to control the confrontation between prisoners belonging to different gangs. Photo: Orlando Sierra / AFP via Getty Images

Unofficially the reports suggest that the five inmates died inside the prison, apparently by the explosion of a fragmentation grenade, and that 39 others were injured.

Television news broadcasts broadcast external images in which members of the security forces are seen mobilizing with firearms inside the prison, in which dozens of shots were also heard.

For its part, the National Commissioner for Human Rights in Honduras (Conadeh) said that the deaths and attacks reported in La Tolva show the lack of implementation of a proper prison administration.

Tolva is one of the two maximum security prisons that Honduras has, in which violent events are recorded quite frequently, often with fatalities.

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