41 Women Die in Prison Riot in Honduras
At least 41 people have been killed in clashes between rival gangs at a women's prison in Honduras. President Castro has announced "drastic measures" in response to the incident.
A prison uprising in Honduras has resulted in the deaths of at least 41 women. While most of them were burned to death, some of the victims were shot, according to Yuri Mora, the spokesperson for the national police.
At least seven inmates were treated at a hospital in the capital city of Tegucigalpa for gunshot and stab wounds. According to statements from a surviving inmate to local media, prisoners belonging to the notorious Barrio 18 gang broke into a cell block and set women on fire or shot them.
A Reaction to Measures against Gangs?
The uprising took place in a prison in Tamara, approximately 50 kilometers northwest of Tegucigalpa. Julissa Villanueva, the head of the Honduran prison system, stated that the revolt was a reaction to measures taken "against organized crime."
Gangs often exercise extensive control within the country's prisons, with inmates sometimes establishing their own rules and engaging in illicit activities. Authorities have recently been trying to crack down on these activities. "We will not give in," Villanueva said in a televised address following the outbreak of violence.
President Announces "Drastic Measures"
Dozens of concerned and angry relatives gathered outside the prison. Salomón García, whose daughter is an inmate at the facility, expressed frustration over the lack of information provided by official sources. "We are dying here from fear, from pain," he said.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro stated that the uprising was planned by gangs "with the knowledge and tolerance of the security authorities." On her social media accounts, she wrote, "I will take drastic measures!"
The uprising could increase pressure on Honduras to follow the zero-tolerance policy implemented by neighboring El Salvador. President Nayib Bukele has implemented a tough approach against criminals in El Salvador. While this anti-gang policy has resulted in the suspension of some constitutional rights in El Salvador, Bukele's approach has gained popularity in a country long plagued by street gangs.