Prison riot leaves 41 women dead after clash between rival gangs

A deeply troubling incident occurred in a prison in Honduras, where a clash between rival gangs led to the loss of at least 41 women. The dreadful scene unfolded at a detention center in Tamara, a town situated about 30 miles north-west of the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa.

The aftermath of the violent conflict was gruesome, with dozens of lifeless bodies discovered by the authorities on Tuesday. Some of the victims, tragically, had been burned alive, while others were found shot. Additionally, seven inmates were taken to a hospital in Tegucigalpa for treatment of gunshot and knife wounds.

Honduras’s President, Xiomara Castro, expressed her shock and horror at the ghastly murders. She attributed the events to powerful street gangs and vowed to take stern measures in response. She also shared her heartfelt sympathy with the families of the victims.

Delma Ordonez, a representative of a prisoners’ families association, disclosed to Reuters that a fight had erupted in the prison between two notorious rival gangs, Barrio 18 and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).

Distressed family members of the inmates gathered outside the prison in search of information about their loved ones. One woman, Ligia Rodríguez, shared her desperate need for information about her daughter in a televised interview.

Julissa Villanueva, the head of Honduras’s prison system, suggested that the recent riots might have been triggered by the authorities’ attempts to clamp down on illegal activities inside prisons. She pledged that the authorities would not retreat in the face of such violence.

The prisons in Honduras are often under the influence of powerful gangs, with inmates typically setting their own rules and dealing in banned goods.

This recent riot is the most disastrous event in a female detention center in the region since a horrific incident in 2017. That event took place in Guatemala, where girls protesting against abuse at a crowded youth shelter set fire to mattresses, leading to a fire that claimed 41 lives.