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  • Inmates are seen in the Topo Chico prison during a media tour in Monterrey, Mexico, Feb. 17, 2016.

    Inmates are seen in the Topo Chico prison during a media tour in Monterrey, Mexico, Feb. 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 February 2016

The promise comes in the wake of a jail riot in northern Mexico that left dozens of people dead.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is promising to provide federal support to state authorities and continue "pushing through fundamental changes" to the country’s prison system.

His comments come just over a week after a jail riot killed nearly 50 inmates.

Speaking at an event in the Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico, a part of the country notorious for drug-related crime, Nieto said his administration will "continue to work in coordination with the state authorities" to secure the safety of the nation's often overcrowded and gang-controlled penitentiaries.

Nieto’s remarks followed a statement Thursday from Interior Minister Miguel Osorio Chong, who said the Feb.11 clashes in the Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, was "a warning call" and underlined the need to "review the rest (of the prisons)."

WATCH: Prison Riot in Mexico Leaves Dozens Dead

"We have to effect a thorough transformation. Enormous investment is needed," Osorio told reporters after signing a letter of commitment to human rights with the National Association of Universities and Higher Education Institutions.

The Topo Chico riot left 49 people dead, mostly inmates, after fighting erupted following a dispute over control of the prison between Los Zetas drug gang leaders Hernandez and Juan Pedro Saldivar Farias.

Most of the dead and wounded were stabbed with homemade weapons or beaten to death with sticks.

The prison had 3,800 inmates at the time of the riot, making it 35 percent over capacity, and hosted a number of drug cartel members along with many others awaiting trial and not yet convicted of any crimes.

As teleSUR reported, Mexican authorities found "luxury cells" complete with aquariums, portable saunas and even a bar in an inspection a few days after the brawl.

Prison director Gregoria Salazar Robles has been charged with abusing her authority, along with her deputy Jesus Fernando Dominguez Jaramillo. A guard who shot dead an inmate during the carnage was also arrested.

VIDEO: Mexico: Pope Francis Visits Prison in Ciudad Juarez

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