At least 41 women were killed in a riot Tuesday at a women’s prison in Honduras, most of them burned to death.
The country’s president has accused the “Mara” street gang, which often wields far-reaching power inside prisons
A video clip released by the government from the prison showed several pistols and piles of machetes and other sharp weapons found after the riots. Twenty-six of the victims were cremated, while the rest were shot or stabbed to death at the prison in Tamara, about 30 miles northwest of Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. At least seven detainees are being treated at a hospital in Tegucigalpa.
The riots were triggered by authorities to crack down on illegal activities in prisons and said the violence was a reaction to the movement
Honduran President Siomara Castro said the riots were “planned by Mr. Maras with the knowledge and acquiescence of the security services.” They also appear to have been successful in smuggling firearms and other weapons, a recurring problem in Honduran prisons. Gangs have widespread control over the country’s prisons, with inmates often making their own rules and selling illegal goods. The riots have been the first in Central American girls since 2017 when schoolgirls set fire to mattresses at a deprived youth shelter in Guatemala to protest rape and other abuses in the extremely overcrowded facilities. It is considered the worst tragedy in prison.