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13 killed, 65 injured in latest riot to rock Mexico prisons; gang of inmates blamed

Reuters

Relatives of inmates wait for information on their loved ones after a prison riot at La Pila prison in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.

MEXICO CITY — Thirteen people were killed and 65 injured in a prison riot Saturday in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, local officials said.

A fight broke out before daybreak among prisoners in a cell block in the La Pila prison in the state capital of San Luis Potosi, and state police re-established control by the morning, officials said.

Concepcion Tovar, head of the state’s prison system, told reporters that at least 100 inmates participated in the riot, which she blamed on a gang that had been harassing and robbing other inmates.

State officials said via social media that 13 people were killed and about 65 injured in the riot. They did not make clear whether all those killed or injured were inmates.

The deaths were caused by sharp objects and other improvised weapons, Tovar said. It was unclear whether the violence was linked to drug gangs, whose turf wars and battles over trafficking routes to the United States have spread across Mexico.

Deadly riots have repeatedly rocked the country’s overcrowded prisons, which house inmates from different gangs.

Killings linked to organized crime fell 14 percent to 4,249 in the first four months of the presidency of Enrique Pena Nieto, who took over in December and vowed to reduce the violence that has marred Latin America’s second-biggest economy.

Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the 2006-2012 term of President Felipe Calderon, who sent the military to fight drug cartels. An additional 27,000 are missing, according to official data.

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