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Thirty-one dead in another Mexican prison riot


The Americas Post - Mexican army troops were called in to restore order

Mexican authorities are investigating 13 prisoners for participation in a prison riot that killed 31 in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas.

Tamaulipas state police announced that the suspects were detained after a fight on Wednesday afternoon between inmates armed with makeshift knives, clubs and stones.   A state Attorney General’s Office spokesman, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly, said that all of the victims and suspects were prisoners.


The melee, which broke out between two cell blocks in a penitentiary in the Gulf coast city of Altamira, injured 13 people.  Local media said it was between members of the competing Gulf and Zetas drug cartels.  Order was restored by troops who entered the jail to help prison officers.

Altamira is in Tamaulipas state, where the Zetas and Gulf cartels have been fighting a bloody war for control of smuggling routes into the US.

Gang rivalries frequently spread into Mexico’s prisons, which are overcrowded and plagued by violence linked to drug cartels.

Last October, 20 inmates died during clashes at a jail in Matamoros, also in Tamaulipas.  Violence has surged in the state after the Zetas broke away from the Gulf Cartel.

More than 40,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon began deploying troops to combat the cartels.