A prison fence


  • Honduran President Xiomara Castro called the incident "monstrous"
  • At least seven inmates got rushed to the hospital to receive treatment
  • The doors to the gang's cell block were open when the attack happened

Dozens of female inmates got killed in Honduras after a fight between rival gangs at a women's facility erupted Tuesday, according to a report.

The gangs, identified as Barrio 18 and MS-13, clashed inside the prison facility in Tamara, around 30 miles off the capital city of Tegucigalpa, early Tuesday morning, killing a total of 46 female inmates, the Associated Press reported.

Shots of gunfire and machetes flying around, locking survivors in their cells before spraying them with a flammable liquid and setting them on fire, erupted as in-fighting between the two groups overwhelmed prison authorities, a prison official confirmed Wednesday.

A total of 26 victims were burned to death while the remaining others were either shot or stabbed, Honduran National Police Investigation Agency's spokesperson Yuri Mora said.

At least seven inmates have been rushed for treatment at a hospital in Tegucigalpa.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro called the incident "monstrous."

Castro also said the carnage was "planned by maras (street gangs) with the knowledge and acquiescence of security authorities."

The gang members found a way to arm themselves with unauthorized and prohibited weapons, bypassing jail guards before attacking each other. The fire that broke out blackened the walls of the prison and almost melted the stuff inside the cells.

"A group of armed people went to the cellblock of a rival gang, locked the doors, opened fire on them," Honduran National Police Chief of Operations Juan Lopez Rochez said.

The spokesperson for the Honduran Ministry of Security, Miguel Martinez, said that the whole fiasco was recorded by security cameras up to the moment gang members destroyed the footage.

"You can see the moment in which the women overcome the guards, leaving them helpless, and take their keys," he said.

President Castro has already fired Security Minister Ramon Sabillon and replaced him with the head of the country's National Police, Gustavo Sanchez.

However, there was no explanation of how the members of the Barrio 18 gang secured weapons, transported them into the prison and moved freely into adjoining cell blocks.

An inventory of the weapons confiscated in the aftermath of the attack found a total of 18 pistols, an assault rifle, two machine pistols and two grenades. They were smuggled into the prison undetected.

Initial reports said that the doors to the gang's cell block were open when the attack happened.

"Obviously, there must have been human failures," López Rochez said. "We are investigating all the employees at the center."