VILLAHERMOSA, TABASCO, MEXICO – A violent altercation between inmates at a prison in Mexico’s Tabasco state has resulted in the deaths of five men, authorities announced on Friday.
Late Thursday night, a riot erupted within the prison’s walls. The altercation claimed the lives of five inmates in total. According to the state police department, four of those five inmates were either on trial or serving sentences for serious offenses, including rape and homicide. Control of the facility has been reestablished, with no additional injuries or escapes reported. Approximately 16 prisoners have been detained in connection with the deadly incident.
The police department attributed the violence to a “fight between groups” from different cell blocks. However, social media posts containing photos and videos, seemingly created by inmates, suggest that the deceased individuals may have been killed in retaliation for extorting money from fellow prisoners.
This grim situation underscores a recurring issue in Mexico’s prison system, where inmates affiliated with outside gangs frequently attempt to extort protection payments from their fellow detainees. These gangs employ threats of violence against prisoners and their families to enforce their demands.
Unfortunately, this incident is not an isolated one. In 2022, a massive brawl at the Apodaca prison near Monterrey left 56 inmates injured. The conflict was sparked by complaints that some prisoners were engaging in extortion within the facility.
The broader problem in Mexico involves holding individuals still on trial in the same prisons as convicted inmates. Furthermore, many Mexican prisons suffer from inadequate supervision, allowing inmates to exert significant control over certain areas of the facilities.