Gangs Live it Up in Honduran Prison

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – A major weapons stash and enough banned electronics to stock a small store were found in a cell block housing gang members in the country’s main prison, officials said Friday.

The contraband included three Kalashnikov assault rifles, an Uzi, two grenades, dynamite, shotguns, 30 large televisions, five refrigerators, an air conditioner, 58 fans, 20 full-size beds and night stands.

Jorge Rodas, the country’s security minister, said officials were trying to determine which prison officials had helped smuggle the items into the National Penitentiary, on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

“This shouldn’t be possible in our country”, he said.

The prison’s director, Aldo Oliva, said the prison’s gang members “refuse to live like prisoners … They want to live in a five-star hotel, but that’s not possible because they must pay for their crimes against society”.

Last week, police found the remains of two men in the same block, along with explosives, grenades, guns, knives and other weapons. Officials were still searching for seven gang members who had gone missing. Oliva said it was possible they had escaped or been killed by rivals and buried somewhere in the prison.

Honduras has struggled to bring its prisons under control. Riots, escapes and contraband goods are common.

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