A brazen daytime attack on a Mexican prison has resulted in the deaths of multiple guards and inmates in the city of Ciudad Juarez on January 1.
Ciudad Juarez has been plagued with violence as deadly confrontations between the competing Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels continue. Sunday’s attack serves as a brutal reminder of the power that cartels continue to wield in the city.
The deadly New Year’s Day incident began at 9 a.m. at the Chihuahua state prison, which houses prisoners from different criminal groups and drug cartels in separate cellblocks. Reports state that the attackers arrived outside the prison in armoured vehicles and began firing on the entrance, inside the dormitories, and at the prison’s guards. One witness reportedly said that the men were better armed than the police and that they fired at any passing vehicles.
Ten guards and at least four inmates were killed. During the onslaught, fighting broke out within the prison, resulting in 13 people being injured. Officials disclosed that four of the injured were being treated at a hospital.
Soldiers and state police regained control of the prison later in the day, but at least 24 prisoners had already escaped. The national guard and the army have since been called in to aid local authorities. Prior to Sunday’s incident, Chihuahua had previously suffered a riot inside the jail in August 2022, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people after the violence spread to the streets.
Prosecutors from Ciudad Juarez have assured the public that there will be an investigation into yesterday’s prison attack.