Prosecutors charged three state officers with homicide after a bloody prison brawl that ended with 49 dead, raising questions about what happened during the melee inside Mexico's Topo Chico lockup that saw inmates fight with hammers, cudgels, and makeshift knives. Nuevo Leon state prosecutor Roberto Flores did not say Friday night if the officers were accused of killing inmates. But authorities have said a guard fired a bullet found in one dead inmate at the prison in Monterrey. Flores also said that four of the nine bodies still unidentified could not be named because the prison had no record of them at the facility. The other five bodies were badly burned and were awaiting DNA testing. "It is a pretty irregular situation," he said.
The prison houses inmates sentenced for minor offenses and suspects awaiting trial in general population alongside some of the country's most hardened killers. Authorities said the hours-long fight that raged into Thursday morning was a battle between rival drug gang factions. Nuevo Leon Gov. Jaime Rodriguez said 60 hammers, 86 knives, and 120 shivs were used in the bloodbath in which 49 inmates died and a dozen were injured. At least 40 of the victims "died from wounds from stabbing and cutting weapons, blows from hammers and clubs," Rodriguez said at a news conference. In Mexico's prison system, "there is self-rule" by the inmates," he said. "All this corruption inside the prison creates the conditions we have today." (Read more Mexico stories.)