Four beheaded in Guatemala prison riot, police sayon May 20, 2021 at 4:29 am

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At least four prisoners are beheaded during a fight between rival gangs at a jail in Quetzaltenango.

Riot police officers enter a prison after a riot broke out at the facility, in the municipality of Cantel

image copyrightReuters

Police in Guatemala say at least four prisoners have been beheaded during a fight between rival gangs.

The fight between inmates from the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs – along with other gangs linked to the drug trade – took place at the Cantel prison, located in Quetzaltenango.

The prison, 200km (125 miles) from the capital, has more than 2,000 inmates.

Some 500 police officers were deployed to take control of the prison, National Police spokesman Jorge Aguilar said.

“At the moment we know of four dead… The preliminary information that we have is that they were beheaded,” he said.

Police suspect that the riot was sparked by a member of one of the gangs attacking a rival in retaliation for a recent incident, he added.

Almost half of the roughly 3,500 violent deaths a year in Guatemala are carried out by gangs, officials say.

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