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28 dead in Acapulco, Mexico, prison riot

By Ed Adamczyk
28 dead in Acapulco, Mexico, prison riot
Families of inmates of the Las Cruces prison in Acapulco, Mexico, gathered outside the prison Thursday after learning of a riot within the prison. Twenty-eight people were killed in the riot. Photo by Maria Meza/EPA

July 7 (UPI) -- A fight between rival gangs in an Acapulco, Mexico, prison killed at least 28 people, a federal military spokesman said.

The riot began early Thursday among inmates in the Las Cruces Prison's maximum security wing who were jailed for federal offenses. Inmates were found stabbed and beaten, and several were decapitated.

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State security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said the fight began because of "the permanent struggle of opposing groups inside the prison." He added that "the recovery of the bodies took place in the areas of the security module of the corridor of Block 1 and outside of the kitchen, as well as in the interior, in the yard of Block 3 and one last in the area of conjugal visits."

His comments suggest the fights occurred throughout the prison and were planned. The prison was reported to be overcrowded, with over 2,000 inmates, the BBC reported Friday.

Federal army troops cordoned off the prison with a security perimeter, but family members of the inmates arrived at the prison when they heard news of the fight and tore down security fences when they were kept away from the prison grounds.

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Acapulco was formerly regarded as among Mexico's foremost resort cities, but is now among the country's most violent places. It has seen a rise in violence as criminal gangs fight for control of the local drug trade. Guerrero state, which includes Acapulco, is a major producer of the plant from which heroin is derived.

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