TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – Inmates at a violence-prone Honduran prison seized hostages and battled among themselves, leaving at least one inmate dead and 11 wounded, authorities said Thursday.
Prison director Orlando Leyva said some women were held hostage inside the prison in San Pedro Sula, where 13 prisoners died in a riot in March.
Leyva said police had not been sent in because San Pedro Sula’s Roman Catholic bishop, Romulo Emiliani, was inside the prison negotiating the release of the women.
“We are trying to avoid a bloodbath,” he said.
Leyva said it is not clear who the women being held are. The prison holds female inmates, and prostitutes and inmates’ wives also go in and out.
Television images showed inmates armed with machetes, carrying the wounded outside the prison. Shots could be heard.
In March, 13 prisoners died during an uprising by armed inmates. One of them was decapitated and the others were killed by a fire started by the rioters.
Honduras’ cramped and crumbling prisons, built for 8,000, have frequently been the scene of riots and fights between the country’s 12,500 inmates.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)