Five inmates arrested in the assault that quelled a prison riot have been listed among 23 people killed in the uprising, but state officials said they do not know how the prisoners died.
The five inmates were videotaped while in custody by an NBC television crew and were only later reported as fatalities, raising the possibility they were killed in custody."I don't know what to say," Ernesto Medina, assistant director of criminal investigations for the state of Nayarit, said in a telephone interview on Sunday. "I don't know anything about that."
The five had been reported killed in the shootout that ended the two-day revolt, but a hostage told The Associated Press that they had surrendered.
Prison officials said the death toll during the uprising was 23, including the warden and a police commander. Nineteen deaths were described as occurring Friday night during what the officials said were two assaults by police.
The government news agency Notimex said some of the prisoners suffered up to 10 bullet wounds.
The NBC videotape reviewed by the AP shows at least 13 prisoners outside the prison being questioned by police. Five can be heard giving their names; those names are on a list of dead later given to the AP by officials.
A witness who spoke on condition his name not be used said the inmates were taken back into the prison after they were questioned and that after that, more gunshots were heard.
And Brenda Margarita Rubio Gonzalez, who had been held hostage, told the AP on Sunday that she was freed hours before what officials said was the final, guns-blazing assault.
"They (the prisoners) surrendered," said Rubio, a prison records clerk.
Medina said he could not explain how the inmates could have died after interrogation. He said the prisoners were dead when he himself arrived at the prison Friday night.
State judicial police Cmdr. Sergio Anzaldo maintained Sunday that most of the deaths occurred during a second assault on the prison offices at about 11 p.m. Friday night.
"Even I don't understand this," Anzaldo said when asked how those now listed among the dead could have been taped while in custody hours earlier. He said he would investigate further.
Efforts to reach other state and federal officials by telephone for comment were unsuccessful on Sunday.