Guatemalan army is seen in the Cantel men's prison in Quetzaltenango department 205km (128 miles) west of Guatemala City on May 19, 2021. At least six inmates were beheaded in a fight between rival gangs on Wednesday at a prison in western Guatemala, police told AFP. Photograph:( AFP )
Once the riots started, it became difficult for the current staff to handle the situation and nearly 500 police officers had to be deployed to take back control of the prison
A rival gang war broke out in a Guatemala prison, leading to the death of at least six inmates, on Thursday.
The fight broke out in the Cantel prison, located in the Quetzaltenango area of Guatemala where the two gangs — Mara Salvatrucha gang and the Barrio — got into a deadly fight.
As per the primary investigation, the six dead inmates were beheaded in the gang war. "Preliminarily, the death of seven inmates is known," the Ministry of the Interior (Interior) said in a statement.
The authorities believe the gang war started with one side attacking the rival group members a few days ago over a disagreement. The other group simply retaliated to that incident.
Once the riots started, it became difficult for the current staff to handle the situation and nearly 500 police officers had to be deployed to take back control of the prison. However, things still got out of control, leading to the beheading of at least four prisoners.
The two gangs involved in the riot are linked to drug trading and extortion rackets.
An investigation has been launched into the matter.