A brutal pre-dawn, gang-related fight, and riot inside CERESO state prison, Acapulco (Mexico), yesterday ended with 28 inmates dead. According to Roberto Alvarez Heredia, security spokesman for the state of Guerrero, the fight started in the prison’s maximum security wing.

Inmates were found mutilated, 4 were beheaded, and bodies were discovered strewn around a conjugal visits area, a prison yard, the kitchen, and a cellblock. An internal report from state police stated that guards said some of the victim-inmates’ throats were slashed. Three inmates were also injured.

With federal police and the army as their backup, state police regained control over the prison. They established a security cordon outside. Heredia also said that the governor has ordered an investigation which will include focusing on prison staff.

How prison bloodbath began

The brawl, according to Heredia, stemmed from permanently feuding prison gangs. All of the casualties, he said, were caused by improvised weapons that inmates fabricated.

The deadly fight is being characterized as one of the worst violent outbreaks, in recent years, in Mexico’s penal system, which is chronically plagued with overcrowding and understaffing. Last month, Mexico’s governmental rights agency reported that many of Mexico’s prisons also have unsafe procedures and poor medical care, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The prison is nearly 30 percent over capacity, Heredia stated. The facility can house 1,624 inmates, yet there are 110 women and 1,951 men incarcerated.

Inmates’ families rush to prison after hearing news

After hearing news about the deadly riot, inmates’ families rushed to the prison and pleaded for the police to give them information.

In desperation to get to their relatives inside the prison, some of the family members tore down a section of the security fence at the prison.

The killings at the prison exemplify the most recent increase in violent crimes. Acapulco, the largest city in the state of Guerrero, is a large hub for producing opium poppy. Additionally, it is one of the most lawless and violent areas.

While Acapulco is one of the Mexico’s best-known beach resorts, it has been embroiled in gang warfare and ranked one of the world’s most murderous cities, according to Voice of America.

At a penitentiary in Monterrey, northern Mexico, in February, rival drug gangs were at the center of a brawl that left 49 inmates dead and several more injured. As well, several top staff members were arrested and were charged with homicide and abuse of authority.

In March 2017, 29 accused drug cartel members allegedly tunneled their way out of a prison in Tamaulipas state. Their escape was reminiscent of the second escape prison escape by notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán in 2015.

Trump administration official visiting Mexico same day prison violence erupts

Carnage at the CERESO federal prison facility happened the same day as Secretary John Kelly, U.S. Department of Homeland Security was in Guerrero visiting. Kelly, who arrived in Mexico on Wednesday, has been in meetings with top Mexican officials, which includes President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Opium poppy production has been a major source of concern to United States officials. Kelly, who is a key figure between President Trump’s administration and the Mexican government respective of migration and security, will be able to see Mexico’s poppy eradication process while visiting the country, according to Mexican officials.