Guatemala City, November 30 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Police officials in Guatemala reported that a gang war broke out in the prison of Escuintla, 37 miles from the capital, Guatemala City, leaving 16 people dead. Reuters reported inmates were armed with weapons, including AK-47s.
Officials said they are waiting for reinforcements before entering the jail to retake control of the prison. They added that security forces are currently outnumbered four-to-one by rioters.
According to the BBC, the jail is notorious for overcrowding and violence. The prison built for 600 inmates currently houses over 3,000. Of those, according to officials, 2,300 are involved in the riot against security forces.
The motive of the riot is still unclear, said Guatemalan Deputy Minister of the Interior Elmer Sosa.
Initial reports suggested a gang war had broke while families were still inside the jail visiting, but later other versions said the clash was between inmates without any gang affiliation and that the conflict had erupted after visiting hours on Sunday. However, local media are reporting inmates may have taken various visitors hostage.
The death toll is expected to rise and the number of people injured is unknown.