On New Year's Day, gunmen in armored trucks stormed a state jail in the northern Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, located over the border of El Paso, Texas. Fourteen people were killed, and scores more were injured.
At approximately 7 a.m. local time on January 1, officials said an unknown number of gunmen entered the Cereso No. 3 state jail and opened fire. Ten prison guards and four inmates were slain.
The state prosecutor's office of Chihuahua reported that thirteen more individuals were injured and twenty-four detainees could escape when riots broke out between competing gangs within the prison during the attack.
After exiting the prison, the freed prisoners perpetrated many carjackings and vehicle thefts, according to the Juarez police.
According to officials, soldiers and state police were able to manage the situation later on Sunday.
According to prosecutors, an inquiry has been initiated into the attack, and four persons have been detained.
It was not immediately apparent who was responsible for the incident or whether the armed attackers were among those apprehended. Still, law enforcement officials have declared that they are "high alert."
Mayor of Juarez Cruz Perez Cuellar stated during a news conference that municipal police engaged in a shootout with some of the suspected escapee's several miles from Cereso on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of three suspects and the capture of five others.
The El Paso Times reports that shortly before the attack on the prison on Sunday, municipal police officers in Juárez were attacked but managed to apprehend and detain four suspects after a vehicle chase.
Later on Sunday, in a different section of the city, police revealed that law enforcement officers had murdered two Hummer drivers in an event described as armed aggression.
It is uncertain whether the events are connected.
The high-security Cereso No. 3 state jail is located 17 miles (28 kilometers) south of Ciudad Juarez, a key drug cartel battleground. It is located across the border from El Paso, which has been struggling with an inflow of illegal immigrants.
The State Human Rights Commission reported in February 2022 that the jail, which has a maximum capacity of 3,135, has over 3,700 inmates.
NPR stated that government officials allege members of the Mexicles, an organized crime group, operate the facility.
This is not the first time the prison has had violent outbreaks, which is reputedly one of the most dangerous facilities in Latin America.
During family visitation hours in August 2022, competing gangs in prison engaged in a brutal brawl. According to local reports, nine individuals, including a toddler, were killed by gang members who attacked citizens, set fire to vehicles and houses, and killed at least three convicts as the violence spread around the city. Subsequently, the National Guard was called in to help contain the situation.
Seventeen people were killed in 2011 following a violent conflict between rival gangs in prison. In March 2009, a prison riot claimed the lives of 20 individuals and injured 15 more.