Massacre During Soccer Game at Mexican Prison Leaves 16 Dead

Cartel members battled with guns, knives inside prison

Image Credits: MICHAELL REYES/AFP via Getty Images.

A Mexican prison became a war zone when members of rival cartels dramatically escalated a dispute during an inmate soccer match, leaving 16 dead and 12 injured, according to local media.

Authorities at the Regional Center for Social Reinsertion of Cieneguillas, Zacatecas, say guns and knives smuggled into the facility were used during the bloody battle.

Prison officials reportedly permitted incarcerated members of the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels to hold a “friendly” end-of-year soccer game, which was spectated by family members and children.

“Sources from the state and federal governments indicate that at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, while the quarrel took place, some inmates drew four guns and several sharp weapons, with which they assaulted their rivals,” La Jornada reports.

“Police and custodians activated the emergency code and requested assistance from outside authorities. In a few minutes, elements of the state preventive, ministerial and metropolitan police officers arrived. As it was the end of the year, there were dozens of visitors, including children, who watched the football game.”

Fifteen out of 16 of the deceased died at the prison – in their cells, common areas, bathrooms, and corridors, while the last died in hospital.

A dozen combatants were injured, five seriously.

Officials say they believe the weapons were brought into the prison by family members of inmates on the day of the fight, but that no additional guns were discovered during searches.

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