Tegucigalpa, June 20 (EFE).- At least 41 people were killed and several others injured in a riot and fire at a women’s prison near the Honduran capital on Tuesday.
Public Ministry spokesperson Yuri Mora confirmed to journalists that at least 41 inmates have died, the majority of them burned to death, but the final figure will not be known until the removal of the bodies is complete.
President Xiomara Castro said on Twitter she was “shocked by the monstrous murder of women,” which she said was “planned by gangs in full view and patience of security authorities,” and she vowed to take “drastic measures.”
Vice Minister of Security Julissa Villanueva ordered the “immediate intervention” of firefighters, police and military, and declared an emergency, assuring that the authorities “will not tolerate acts of vandalism or irregularities.”
Villanueva suggested to journalists that the riot started due to authorities’ attempts to crack down on organized crime inside prisons.
On Apr. 18, the Honduran authorities announced measures to bring order to the country’s prisons that included the blocking of mobile-phone calls, a disarmament of inmates and the classification of prisoners in terms of threat.
Since April, a dozen shootings or confrontations have been registered in Honduran prisons, which are often overcrowded and where there is a lack of adequate and safe facilities for housing inmates amid substandard hygiene and sanitation conditions. EFE