At least 5 killed, 39 injured in latest gang brawl in Honduras prison

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Honduran soldiers stand guard outside the La Tolva National Prison in Moroceli, Honduras on 17 June 2021 after violence broke out.
Honduran soldiers stand guard outside the La Tolva National Prison in Moroceli, Honduras on 17 June 2021 after violence broke out.
PHOTO: Orlando Sierra/AFP

TEGUCIGALPA – At least five inmates were killed and 39 prisoners and guards were injured on Thursday in a brawl between gang members at a high-security prison in Honduras, judicial authorities said.

The three-hour confrontation, involving live ammunition and at least one grenade, began when members of the Barrio 18 gang entered a section for members of the rival Mara Salvatrucha 13 gang, in the La Tolva prison east of Tegucigalpa.

The facility houses more than 1 500 inmates, according to authorities.

Thirteen of those injured are in a serious condition, prosecutor Sara Gómez told a local television newscast.

Prisons in Honduras have been under military control since 2019. There is frequent violence between the country's two largest street gangs, as well as organised crime gangs.

In December 2019, 18 inmates died during a gang dispute at a prison in the tourist city of Tela on the country's Atlantic coast. Three days later, another 19 people were killed amid gang brawls at the El Porvenir prison, 80km east of Tegucigalpa, authorities said.

Some 25 overcrowded prisons in Honduras house more than 22 000 inmates, where human rights organisations have criticised a lack of food, unsanitary conditions, and corruption.


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