Monterrey – On Thursday, in Monterrey, Mexico, 52 inmates of the Topo Chico prison died after a battle between a drug cartel named Zetas and their rivals doomed in the building.

This was one of the worst outbreaks of violence in a series of deadly riots that have happened in the overpopulated prisons of Mexico, which are mostly caused by dangerous cartels.

52 inmates of the Topo Chico prison died after a battle between Zetas and their rivals. Credit:

According to Jaime Rodríguez, the governor of Nuevo León, the capital of Monterrey, 52 inmates were killed and another 12 were injured. Some were even burned to death in their cell blocks, with their mattresses and furniture. The death toll was the highest from prison violence in years in Mexico

Fighting broke out before midnight in two areas of the Topo Chico prison. It happened between members of the Zetas and another group. Zetas are known for extreme violence. Once, they stabbed one of their leaders to death. The prison has held members of the gang for a long time and has been faulted for not preventing violent incidents. Rodriguez refers to it as ” A very old prison. A prison with very difficult security conditions.”

Rodriguez, who has survived two assassination attempts while opposing drug cartels, admitted in a local radio that the Zetas indeed dominate the prison, as people thought. The prison system is one of his principal concerns.

At about 1:30 am on Thursday, the fighting was finally under control and ruled out a prison break. Outside the Topo Chico prison, police block the entrance as family members rattled the gates demanding to be let in. TV images showed relatives forcing open the entrance and throwing stones at riot police.

The state government released 20 of the victims’ names. The name of Juan Pedro Saldivar, one of the Zeta’s leaders called Zeta 27 was not among them. He has been mentioned in local media as a suspect in the murder of the U.S. Citizen David Hartley in 2010. However, the Zetas are now being debilitated since founding members are being arrested or killed.

The incident occurred less than a week before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit a prison in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, once one of the most violent cities in the world. This will be Pope Francis’ first visit to Mexico as pontiff.

Source: NY Times