Dozens dead in Monterrey prison riot

Scene outside Topo Chico prison Thursday Feb. 11. (PHOTO:

MONTERREY, Nuevo León — Reuters reports dozens of people were killed in a riot in a prison in Monterrey, north-eastern Mexico, early on Thursday Feb. 11, according to local media accounts.

The riot at the overcrowded Topo Chico prison occurred just days ahead of a planned visit by Pope Francis to another prison in Mexico.

The riot was one of the worst in Mexican history in terms of loss of life.

Milenio TV said about 50 people were killed in the riot, and that some prisoners may have escaped. The report said relatives of prisoners had heard gunshots and that a blaze had broken out at about half past midnight.

Scene outside Topo Chico prison Thursday Feb. 11. (PHOTO:
Scene outside Topo Chico prison Thursday Feb. 11. (PHOTO:

The riot started before dawn, local media said. Television images showed police vehicles patrolling the streets near the prison. Milenio reported that inmates’ relatives who had been within the jail’s premises for conjugal visits had seen inmates with burns, and that authorities were searching for escapees.

Relatives of inmates shook the prison gates and tossed rocks at guards and police on the other side. “I want to know that my daughter is OK. She is in the infirmary. There are children in there,” one woman said.

The Nuevo León state government said on Twitter the situation had been brought under control, but gave no details on what had happened.