2009 Mexico prison riot

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2009 Mexico prison riot
Date March 4, 2009 (2009-03-04)
Time 7 a.m. MST (2 p.m. UTC)
Location Cerezo state prison, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
20 dead, 15 injured

A prison riot occurred at the CERESO state prison in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, on March 4, 2009. During the riots, at least 20 people were killed and 15 were injured.[1][2] Although a police spokesman stated that no police or jail guards were killed during the riots,[2] the Red Cross said that two policemen had been killed.[3] The riot was a fight among several rival gangs, the "Barrio Azteca," "Los Mexicles" and "Artistas Asesinos" (AA).[4][5]

The riots began at roughly 7 a.m. local time (2 p.m. UTC), and lasted for about two hours.[2] 14 members of the Aztecas "subjugated" a prison guard with knives and stole the guard's keys.[5][6] The gang then opened several cells, releasing 170 prisoners.[5] The prisoners forced their way into an area where members of the Mexicles and AA were meeting with family and friends during conjugal visits, and attacked them.[7] During the riots, prisoners set blocks of prison cells on fire, stabbed each other with knives, or were beaten.[1] Other prisoners used rifles and iron pins as weapons.[4] In addition, some prisoners were thrown from the second story of buildings.[4] Two of the 20 prisoners died at a local hospital, while the remainder died in the prison.[8]

At least 50 members of the Mexican Army and 200 police were deployed to end the riots.[7] An airplane and two helicopters were also used to quell the violence.[2] Earlier in the day, 1,500 troops began entering the city in an effort to reduce drug-and-gang-related violence, which, over the last year, took the lives of 2,000 people in Ciudad Juárez.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Mexican prison riot 'kills 20'". BBC. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d "20 dead in Mexico prison riot, official says". CNN. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  3. ^ "Mexican prison uprising costs 20 lives". Radio Netherlands. 2009-03-04. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  4. ^ a b c "20 die in prison clash in northern Mexico". Xinhua. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  5. ^ a b c "4020-MEXICO-PRISON RIOT UPDATE". RTV London. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-06. [dead link]
  6. ^ Tuckman, Jo (2009-03-05). "At least 20 dead in Mexican prison riot". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  7. ^ a b Montemayor, Marina (2009-03-04). "20 inmates die in Mexican prison fight". AP. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  8. ^ "20 killed in Mexico prison violence". Times of India. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  9. ^ "Mexico troops enter drug war city". BBC. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-06.