A riot at the Cadereyta state prison near Monterrey, Mexico quelled by security forces has left at least 13 inmates dead.
State security spokesman Aldo Fasci said eight people remain in critical condition, adding that the death toll resulting from the riot could rise.
As black smoke emerged from several areas within the prison, distraught family members seeking information about detained relatives engaged with authorities at the gates surrounding the prison throughout the afternoon, according to The Spokesman-Review.
Several hours of negotiations followed by non-lethal methods of persuasion proved fruitless. Subsequently, lethal force was employed, according to Fasci, to safeguard the lives of guards and prisoners.
Fasci noted that authorities monitoring video footage inside the prison claimed that at least one prisoner had been killed and several guards were taken hostage.
“If they had not taken these decisions right now we would be talking about many more dead,” Fasci said, adding that trouble began Monday night when one of the prison gangs protested the fact that members of all gangs there were detained together.
Fighting broke out early the following morning and when police attempted to regain control of the prison, they were engaged by roughly 150 prisoners brandishing metal tools and rubble. While it appeared that two of deaths were caused by bullet wounds, Fasci affirmed that autopsies are required to determine those who were killed by authorities or inmates.
Cadereyta state prison holds 4,000 inmates and contracts 300 guards. Fasci commented that the facility was not built to detain that many people.
“It’s very difficult to keep them in order.”