Dozens dead in Honduras prison fire


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Status: 06/20/2023 11:01 p.m

A fire in a women’s prison near the capital Tegucigalpa has killed scores and injured several. The background may be fights between rival youth gangs.

At least 41 people died in a fire and fighting in a women’s prison in Honduras, according to preliminary official information. At least seven women were also injured and taken to hospitals, the television station Televicentro reported. The investigation was underway, a spokesman for the Attorney General of the Central American country told the broadcaster. The prison is located in the town of Támara, around 35 kilometers north-west of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

“Organized crime” was behind the incident, said Deputy Minister for Security Julissa Villanueva. According to media reports, the fire broke out on Tuesday morning (local time) after fighting between rival youth gangs Pandilla 18 and Mara Salvatrucha. Slashing weapons are also said to have been used in the fighting.

Violence in several prisons

Relatives desperately gathered in front of the prison, waiting for information. Violent acts have occurred in several prisons in Honduras in recent weeks. The government of left-wing President Xiomara Castro recently appointed a special commission to deal with the crisis in the prison system.

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