Nine Die in San Pedro Prison Fight

Several inmates were killed on Friday according to officials at San Pedro Sula’s Central Penitentiary. The announcement was made on Sunday.

Nine inmates were killed, and three others were injured as the result of a dispute between two groups of inmates at the prison, according to authorities. One group of men were attempting an escape. Several inmates carried guns, “shivs”, and the like, with which they planned to subdue prison policemen and escape during the ensuing shootout. A rival group protested the action, and weapons on both sides were produced.

The three wounded prisoners are Valdín Murillo, who received a wound in the right ankle; José Gerson Montoya, who received a bullet wound in his left leg, and Wilson Gustavo Carrasco who had been shot in the leg and hip.

One of the wounded, Gerson Montoya, reported that at the time of the incident, some men were eating their food, others working, and many resting when they heard a shootout. He said that faced with the situation, most prisoners ran in a different direction, in an attempt to avoid the conflict, but that he and others had no such luck.

Commissioner Juan López Róchez, head of the prison’s police district, said that in order to prevent a mass escape, the uniformed men had to shoot in the air. They received reinforcement from a number of colleagues who arrived with various patrols to guard the area. They achieved control of the prisoners, but have been monitoring for any fallout.

The San Pedro prison was designed to hold 800 inmates, but is currently holding more than 2,000. The commissioner did not divulge exactly how the prisoners managed to obtain weapons.

Killed in the fight was the supposed ringleader of the breakout, José Manuel González Araujo, who has been in the prison since December 22, 2006 for murder; Santos Geovanny Méndez, who was imprisoned since February 5, 2003, for murder; Manuel Arnaldo Cueva, who had been arrested on January 25, 2009, for vehicle theft; Allan Francisco Fuentes Fúnez, imprisoned since August 7th of 2009, for possession of illegal firearms, vehicle theft, robbery, and unjust deprivation of freedom; Jesús Mejía Vásquez, imprisoned since January 8th of last year, for robbery, attempted homicide, and illegal possession of firearms; Cristofer Alberto Sabillón Ortega, imprisoned since May 18th of 2010, for aggravated robbery and illegal possession of firearms; Jasón Ordoñez, imprisoned since May 18, 2010, for aggravated robbery; and Cristian Murillo Moreno, imprisoned since September 16, 2010 for homicide and attempted homicide.

Mario René Dubón Ruiz, 22, died in the surgery room just minutes after being admitted; he had suffered wounds in the chest and abdomen. Dubón Ruiz was in prison for homicide, had roughly 10 orders for capture, and for being a member or supporter of the “MS” gang.

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