Prison fight between Los Zetas and Gulf Cartel leaves 52 inmates dead

Monterrey, Mexico (DailyHaze) – A deadly prison fight between the Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, at Topo Chico Prison in Monterrey, erupted into a full blown prison riot on Thursday. When all was said and done, 52 inmates were left dead and another 12 injured.

The brutal fight took place on the eve of the Pope’s arrival to Mexico. Pope Francis is set to make an appearance at another prison in Mexico located in the city of Ciudad Juarez.

Around midnight, the fight was said to have started when inmates set fire to a storage area. Inmates with burn injuries were seen being removed from the prison by rescue workers. A large crowd formed outside the prison demanding to be let in to receive information if their family members were okay. Riot police were on the scene to keep the crowd of concerned families out of the prison.

The fight was started between members of the opposing factions. Juan Pedro Zaldivar Farias, also known as “Z-27”, of the Zetas drug cartel and Jorge Ivan Hernandez Cantu, of the Gulf Cartel, are claimed to be responsible for the deadly brawl.

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Image Source: Amanda Slater, Flickr, Creative Commons

The Los Zetas and the Gulf Cartel have history of an extremely bloody feud that has been going on for years. The Los Zetas once acted as the militant death squad wing of the Gulf Cartel. Their mission was originally to protect a young up and coming leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén.

The Zetas had 34 founding members that made up the military arm of the Gulf Cartel. The Zetas eventually grew so large and powerful that they broke off into their own group and began fighting the Gulf Cartel for access points to America to smuggle drugs.

The ongoing fight has had a destructive result for the Gulf Cartel’s hold on Mexico. The Zetas are said to now be in at least half of the country of Mexico, many of the major cities in America and control a drug trade that goes into South America and into Europe.

Thursday’s prison fight was not the first for the feuding cartels. In February of 2012, Zetas members killed 44 members of the Gulf Cartel at the overcrowded Apodaca Prison in Nuevo Leon. Just a month prior, 31 inmates died during a fight in the Tamaulipas Prison.

These prison fights make up a very small number of the people who have been killed since the Zetas and Gulf Cartel feud began. It is a feud that appears to have no end in site, as the two factions continue to fight over control of the drug trade.

This report prepared by Meko Haze for Daily Haze.