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News > Honduras

Honduras: Women Prison Riot Death Toll Rises to 46

  • One of the cells completely burned by the fire in the Honduran prison, June 21, 2023.

    One of the cells completely burned by the fire in the Honduran prison, June 21, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @alertanoti

Published 21 June 2023

After the incidents in the high-security prison, President Castro dismissed Security Minister Sabillon and appointed Gustavo Sanchez as his replacement.

On Wednesday, Izza Alvarado, the spokesperson for the Forensic Medicine Department of the city of Tegucigalpa, confirmed that 46 people died as a result of the brawl and fire that took place at the Women's Center for Social Adaptation (CEFAS) on Tuesday.


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As of Tuesday night, the authorities had already discovered 25 burned victims and 16 riddled with bullets in this female penitentiary, which is located in the department of Francisco Morazan, some 35 kilometers from the capital city Tegucigalpa.

Hours later, as authorities continued to search for fatalities, the death toll began to rise.
Delma Ordonez, a representative of the relatives of the inmates, said the riot broke out after authorities announced new rules for the prison, including banning and confiscating televisions and other devices.

Injured prisoners were transferred to a hospital in Tegucigalpa, as images of the burned corpses and other scenes of the bloody aftermath were already circulating on social media.

"A surviving witnesses pointed out that members of the 18 Gang were responsible for what happened," local media Alerta Noticias reported, explaining that the gang members locked 41 women inside a bathroom and set them on fire.

The tweet reads, "48 women killed in a brawl in a Honduran prison. Government warns about the challenge of organized crime."

"People who live near the penitentiary heard the desperate cries of the women asking for help," the Honduran outlet added.

"We will not tolerate acts of vandalism, nor irregularities at this prison," Deputy Security Minister Julissa Villanueva tweeted at the start of the riot. Later, she declared an emergency and authorized the "immediate intervention" of the police, the military, and firefighters.

After the incidents in the high-security prison, Honduran President Xiomara Castro dismissed Security Minister Ramon Sabillon and appointed Gustavo Sanchez, who had been serving as director of the National Police, as his replacement.

In the coming hours, Honduran authorities are expected to release a new update of the death toll, along with the names of the deceased inmates.

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