Six killed in fight between rival gangs at Villahermosa, Tabasco prison

A fight between rival gangs in a prison in Mexico has left six inmates dead and at least nine injured, officials say.

The fight broke out on Tuesday afternoon local time in a jail in the city of Villahermosa in Tabasco state.

Guards said rival groups armed with home-made weapons were fighting for control of the prison.

The prison has been the site of deadly fights in the past. In February, two inmates classed as “high risk” were killed in a confrontation.

Guards said Tuesday’s fight broke out in the prison courtyard when members of rival groups attacked each other with sticks and knives.

Relatives of inmates stand outside the penitentiary during a fight among inmates in Villahermosa, in Tabasco state, Mexico June 22, 2021
Relatives came to the prison to get news of their loved ones

Riot police were deployed to the jail and local media report that almost 80 officers entered the prison to re-establish control.

Prison fights are not unusual in Mexico. According to the National Human Rights Commission, there were almost 1,000 fights in state jails in 2020.

There have also been a number of high-profile prison breaks, including those of Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who managed to escape from two maximum-security jails before being extradited to the United States.