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19 Dead As Inmates Riot Again at Tijuana Prison

Baja California's Director of Public Security says 19 people were killed and dozens more were injured in a riot at Tijuana's La Mesa prison yesterday afternoon. It is the second riot at the facility i

19 Dead As Inmates Riot Again at Tijuana Prison

Baja California's Director of Public Security says 19 people were killed and dozens more were injured in a riot at Tijuana's La Mesa prison yesterday afternoon. It is the second riot at the facility in just three days. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

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The riot began just after noon.

It looked and sounded like a repeat of Sunday's deadly events.
Mother Antonia: I've been hearing shots. That's all I've been hearing.

Mother Antonia is a nun who's lived at the prison for thirty years. We reached her on her cell phone about an hour into yesterday's riot. She'd been on lockdown in her room since it began.
Mother Antonia: I think they're just shots over the head, which I've seen before, shooting over the head. That's the way it is. But I really think I should keep my prayers because you can hear a lot of shots are being fired and I really don't know what's happening.

Local media showed smoke rising up from inside the prison.

Dozens of inmates gathered on the roof.

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They hurled rocks into the street below.

That's where Tijuanapress reporter Vicente Calderon was, with crowds of angry people who'd been camped out there since Sunday...

Vicente Calderon: Trying to get information on the situation of their relatives inside the prison. The authorities have not provided any information. And this is one of the reasons why this got out of control again in less than a week.

The frustration has boiled over both inside and outside the prison.

Family members clashed with police in the streets.

Law enforcement officials say they squelched this riot in about three hours.

Officials say dangerous drug gangs fighting for control are to blame.

Last Sunday's riot went on for nearly twelve hours. Four people died and dozens were injured.

The prisons' commander and sub-commander are wanted for the murder that likely sparked it.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

Extra information:  

Baja's Director of Public Security, Daniel de la Rosa, says he'll publish a list of the dead and injured on Thursday. He says he'll also publish the names of the approximately 250 prisoners who've been transfered from La Mesa to other prisons.

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