Rival Cartels Start Prison Riot That Leaves 52 Dead In Mexico

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Just days before Pope Francis is scheduled to travel to Mexico, the infamous Los Zetas Cartel and its rival the Gulf Cartel instigated a prison riot that left 52 dead in Monterrey, Mexico.

The prison brawl broke out shortly before midnight Wednesday at the Topo Chico prison, located just outside of Monterrey, reported Reuters.

According to Governor Jaime Rodriguez of Nuevo Leon state where Topo Chico is located, there were no guns involved in the violence. The weapons of choice were “sharp weapons, bats and sticks.” Inmates torched food storage areas, which caused a fire that could be seen into the night from the prison.

Fifty-two people were killed, and 12 others were injured. The violence came as the result of the ongoing rivalry between Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel both behind bars and on the streets. Los Zetas leader Juan Pedro “Z-27” Saldivar-Farías and Gulf Cartel boss Jorge “El Credo” Iván Hernández led the prison riot for each side.

Los Zetas is infamous for being arguably the most violent of the Mexican cartels. Los Zetas used to be a part of the Gulf Cartel and was essentially its private army. However, in 2010, Los Zetas broke off and became an independent organization which to this day is embroiled in a bitter rivalry with its former employers.

Z-27 is suspected of having had a part in the “2010 murder of American David Hartley, who was reportedly killed while jet skiing on Falcon Lake, which straddles the US-Mexico border,” reported The Guardian.

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