Honduran authorities on Monday destroyed hundreds of weapons, including automatic rifles, grenades and explosives, seized from the country’s five largest prisons after rival gang members clashed at a women’s prison in June that left 46 dead. they.

40 rifles (especially AR-15, AK-47, Uzi…), 222 pistols, 240 detonators, 23,860 bullets of various calibers, 24 grenades and explosives were destroyed.

According to Colonel Ramiro Fernando Muñoz, officer of the Honduran gendarmerie (PMOP), the seizures of these weapons and their destruction are only the beginning of operations that will last throughout the year to regain control of the country’s prisons, where they are incarcerated almost 20,000 people.

In this context, more than 1,600 male and female prisoners, members of Maras, as the gangs that terrorize the citizens of North Central American countries are known, were shuffled from one prison to another.

A total of “1,628 members of (…) maras and gangs” were involved in the operation under the guard of a heavy police force, according to the PMOP.

The aim is to “dismantle the schools of crime” that the prisons have turned into, where weapons, telephones, other communication systems circulate, thanks to corrupting guards and administrators of the prison service, commented Defense Minister Jose Manuel Zelaya, who was present at the disaster of the seized arsenal.

“Telephone calls are made from prisons in order to do so [να διατάσσεται] to commit extortions, kidnappings, murders,” explained the minister.

On June 20, female prisoners belonging to the Barrio 18 gang broke into a prison wing in Tamara (25 km north of the capital Tegucigalpa) where members of the rival Mara Salvatrucha gang were being held, opened fire and set it on fire. Most of the 46 victims were burned alive.

Over a thousand prisoners have been killed in the Central American country in the last 20 years. In 2012, a fire at Comayagua prison (central) claimed the lives of 362 people.