Prison clashes in Mexico leave more than a dozen dead | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 28.04.2013
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Prison clashes in Mexico leave more than a dozen dead

Clashes between inmates in a Mexican prison have left more than a dozen dead and scores injured, according to authorities. State police have reportedly regained control of the facility.

A fight broke out between inmates in the La Pila prison in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi on Saturday, leaving at least 13 people dead and another 65 injured.

Concepcion Tovar, head of the state's prison system, told reporters that at least 100 prisoners were involved in the violence. Tovar said many prisoners were angry at a gang, which had been harassing and robbing inmates. The deaths were caused by sharp objects and other improvised weapons, according to Tovar.

The state governor, Fernando Toranzo, said that 22 of the 65 injured were in serious condition. Toranzo went on to say that there would be an investigation into whether or not prison authorities had played a role in the violence.

Mexico's drug cartels, which are battling over trade routes into lucrative markets in the United States, often carry their rivalries into prison. It remains unclear whether Saturday's clash was somehow connected to the cartels.

The National Human Rights Commission reported in 2012 that inmates effectively run the interior of Mexico's prisons. Fights, riots and escapes are common.

The Zetas drug cartel has been especially active in San Luis Potosi in recent years.

slk/ch (AP, Reuters)