Three dead in new clash at Mexican prison

Three dead in new Mexican prison riot

Monterrey (Mexico) (AFP) - Three inmates were killed after a gang ordered the assassination of one of them at a Mexican prison where 49 others died in a brawl in February, authorities said Thursday.

Another 19 were injured at the Topo Chico prison late Wednesday, including five seriously, Nuevo Leon state's interior secretary Manuel Gonzalez said.

Some 25 state police officers threw tear gas at the prisoners to bring the situation under control. None of the officers were hurt.

The violence erupted after a gang ordered the murder of a prison leader, Javier Orlando Galindo, because he failed to send money to the criminal group outside the penitentiary, Gonzalez said.

Galindo was jumped by up to seven inmates as he headed to his cell and had stab wounds when he was found. Two other inmates were found dead elsewhere.

"There was pressure from outside to eliminate the presumed leader, who wasn't carrying out extortions... inside the prison, and consequently he wasn't sending money" outside, he said.

The source of cash dried up after authorities retook control of the prison and ended extortion schemes following February's deadly battle, the official said.

The fight four months ago stemmed from a power struggle between rival leaders of the Zetas drug cartel who fought over control of the penitentiary.

Galindo became the new leader following the massacre, Gonzalez said.

Raiding prison cells days after the February brawl, the authorities found luxury items including aquariums, flat-screen televisions, portable saunas and even a bar.

State authorities declared that they had retaken control of the facility after transferring several inmates to other prisons and detaining the warden.

Mexican prisons have been hit by several clashes and escapes in recent years. In February 2012, 44 inmates died and another 30 escaped during a riot in another Nuevo Leon prison.

The National Human Rights Commission issued a report in April saying inmates govern themselves in 71 state prisons.

President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to reform the country's penitentiary system after the notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from a maximum-security prison in July 2015.

Police recaptured him in January.