SAN DIEGO — A riot at Tijuana's notorious La Mesa State Penitentiary has left three inmates dead and 25 people injured as prisoners threw rocks and set fires to protest alleged police brutality, according to Baja California state authorities.
The riot broke out Sunday afternoon, a day after a 19-year-old inmate died while guards searched cells for drugs and weapons. Inmates took control of the sprawling prison, which has a history of uprisings.
Although authorities have established more order in the penitentiary once known for its open-air drug market, prostitutes and eateries, critics say the prison remains dangerously overcrowded. It has about 8,000 inmates.
Prisoners ran across rooftops, flew banners criticizing their treatment, threw rocks at police and set fires on roofs and in trash containers. Clouds of black smoke filled the sky over the mostly residential area in the eastern part of the city.