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3 Injured in Mexico Prison Riot

March 6, 2002

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ About 300 prisoners seized three wings of a prison in central Mexico for several hours, authorities said. Three people were injured.

More than 1,800 police in full riot gear, fired dozens of pistol shots into the air and then used hundreds of tear gas canisters late Tuesday to regain control of the 1,800-inmate Barrinetos Penitentiary outside the city of Tlalnepantla, 10 miles north of Mexico City.

Two inmates and a prison janitor were injured in the uprising that began after hundreds of prisoners protested their poor treatment at the hands of penitentiary guards, a prison spokesman said in a phone interview.

The spokesman, who said prison rules prohibited him from giving his name, said authorities lost control of nearly half of the prison after inmates began burning mattresses, boxes of food and tables and chairs and briefly kidnapped a three-man janitor crew.

The spokesman said that authorities were planning to meet early Wednesday morning with a group of prisoners who organized the uprising.

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