Crime & Justice

Death toll in Honduras prison brawl climbs to 46

Tegucigalpa, Jun 21 (EFE).- The death toll from a brawl and fire at the Cefas women’s prison some 25 km (16 mi) from this capital stands at 46, Honduran authorities said Wednesday.

The initial report following Tuesday’s violence put the number of fatalities at 41, but Izza Alvarado, spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office in Tegucigalpa, said that 46 bodies were brought to the morgue from the prison.

Some victims were burned to death, while others had gunshot wounds.

A tent has been erected in front of the morgue to provide shelter from the elements for families waiting to receive the remains of loved ones.

The bodies of most of the 23 positively identified victims were handed over to relatives overnight, Alvarado said.

President Xiomara Castro dismissed Security Minister Ramon Sabillon late Tuesday and named the head of the National Police, Gustavo Sanchez, to replace him.

Reacting on Twitter to the news from the prison, Castro expressed horror over “the monstrous murder of women in Cefas, planned by gangs in the full view and tolerance of security authorities.”

Honduran media outlets say the bloodbath resulted from a battle between inmates linked to the powerful Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and the rival Pandilla 18.

“My solidarity with family members,” the president wrote. “I will take drastic measures!”

At least 20,000 people are locked up in Honduras’ 26 prisons, many of them people awaiting trial. EFE


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