What started as a late-night fight between leaders of rival gangs spiraled into a massive prison riot in northern Mexico that left dozens dead, officials said.
The riot killed 60 people inside Topo Chico prison in Monterrey, a spokesman for the state’s governor told reporters Thursday afternoon. Authorities initially announced a higher death toll, but later corrected that figure.
Twelve others were injured, including five who are in critical condition, he said.
Video showed flames rising from the prison — the result, Nuevo Leon state Gov. Jaime Rodriguez said, of inmates setting fires in two areas inside.
The violent clashes come just one day before Pope Francis arrives in Mexico, a trip that will include a stop at a prison in Ciudad Juarez, a city on the mend after once being known as the murder capital of the world.
A recent human rights investigation report says that 65 of the 101 prisons in Mexico are run by the inmates and not the authorities.