A confrontation between rival gangs left at least 41 women dead in a Honduran prison.
For weeks, inmates at the all-women prison had voiced their concerns about being threatened by gang members, according to the Associated Press. But on Tuesday, the threats were carried out, resulting in the brutal slaughter, with many of the women being burned, shot, or stabbed to death.
"Shocked by the monstrous murder of women in CEFAS, planned by gangs in full view and patience of security authorities. My solidarity is with their families. I am requesting that the Minister of Security and the president of the Intervention Commission render accounts of the incident. I will take drastic measures!" Honduran President Xiomara Castro de Zelaya said in a Twitter post.
According to Castro de Zelaya, the brawl erupted at Tamara, a prison located approximately 30 miles northwest of Honduras' capital city, and was planned by imprisoned Barrio 18 gang members against Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members "with the knowledge and acquiescence of security authorities."
It’s unclear how the Barrio 18 gang members were able to get weapons into the prison. However, the assistant commissioner for Honduras' prison system, Sandra Rodríguez Vargas, told the AP that "the attackers ‘removed’ guards at the facility," but none appeared to have been hurt.
The gang then began to open cells, killing inmates, and then started a fire where 26 women were burned to death, and the remainder were either shot or stabbed to death, police said.
According to Vargas, they are now conducting an "exhaustive investigation" to learn more about what actually happened and to "eliminate all forms of violence against women."