CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – A gunbattle Tuesday among inmates at a prison in northern Mexico left 5 people dead and 14 wounded, the Chihuahua state Public Safety Office told Efe.
The shootout stemmed from a struggle between the Mexicles and La Linea gangs “for territorial power inside” the penitentiary in Aquiles Serdan, prison official Vicente Armendariz said.
He said the two gangs provide shock troops for the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels, respectively, in their war for control of the drug trade in Chihuahua’s biggest city, Ciudad Juarez, which lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.
No inmates escaped during Tuesday’s clash, authorities said, adding that the situation was under control.
Separately, a mother and her young adult daughter were found fatally shot inside a home in Juarez.
A 3-year-old child was wounded in the incident, a police source said.
News of the double-murder coincided with a visit to the border metropolis by several Cabinet ministers to promote the program, “We are all Juarez, let’s rebuild the city.”
Agrarian Reform Minister Abelardo Escobar led the event, where it was announced that President Felipe Calderon will come to Juarez next week – his third visit in five weeks – to learn the details of the plan to repair the social fabric in Mexico’s murder capital.
Most of the more than 4,000 homicides registered in Juarez over the past 26 months are blamed on the drug war.
Shortly after taking office in December 2006, Calderon militarized the struggle with the cartels, yet the pace of killings has only accelerated and the nationwide death toll since then has already topped 17,000. EFE