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ANALYSIS

Massacre in Honduras Linked to Barrio 18

BARRIO 18 / 12 NOV 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

In the most complete account of the October 30 massacre of fourteen youth at a San Pedro Sula soccer field, Honduras’ newspaper La Prensa recounts how nine masked men with assault rifles corralled the players, then shot them one-by-one after checking for weapons and tattoos.

In the most complete account of the October 30 massacre of fourteen youth at a San Pedro Sula soccer field, Honduras’ newspaper La Prensa recounts how nine masked men with assault rifles corralled the players, then shot them one-by-one after checking for weapons and tattoos. The massacre left another eight injured, including a referee. Some reports say the armed group took several other players with them when they drove away from the scene. Authorities blame the Barrio 18, a multinational gang with roots in Los Angeles. The Barrio 18 operates in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States. It is struggling for control over the street corner drug business with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) which also has roots in Los Angeles and operates throughout the region. In addition to drugs, the two gangs are involved in extortion and human smuggling. They may be making connections to more sophisticated criminal syndicates such as the Zetas from Mexico. Indeed, witnesses said some of the suspects in this Honduran massacre used M-16 assault rifles, the Zetas preferred choice of assault rifle, since the Mexican group’s core is former military personnel.

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