HomeNewsBriefHonduras Gang Massacre Trial Suspended
BRIEF

Honduras Gang Massacre Trial Suspended

BARRIO 18 / 25 JUL 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

A key witness disappeared during the trial of several Barrio 18 gang members accused of carrying out a massacre, in another blow to efforts tackle rampant impunity in Honduras.

The trial against three men accused of murdering 17 people in 2010 was suspended after a gang member turned state witness failed to appear ahead of his scheduled testimony, and could not be located by the authorities, reported La Tribuna.

According to prosecutors, the witness had participated in the murder plot, but had turned on his gang mates to provide critical information about the involvement of the accused. Although he had already provided written testimony, his presence at the trial is also required.

The defendants stand accused of murdering 17 people in a shoe factory in September 2010. According to the version of events presented at the trial, the three men carried out the killings because two of the workers were linked to rival gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and were selling drugs in Barrio 18 territory.

The trial is now slated to restart on August 8.

InSight Crime Analysis

The massacre of the 17 workers is one of the worst gang-related atrocities Honduras has witnessed, and a conviction would be a symbolic blow against impunity in Honduras.

That conviction remains a possibility due to the weight of material evidence: when arrested, the defendants were reportedly found in possession of weapons and the vehicle used in the massacre. However, the testimony of the missing witness was seen as key to the case. If he does not reappear -- which seems extremely unlikely, especially if his former gang mates have reached him -- then it could be fatally undermined.

If prosecutors fail to obtain a conviction after taking the case as far as trial -- itself an unusal occurance in Honduras -- it would represent another setback in attempts to tackle impunity and the influence of gangs in the violence-plagued country.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CACHIROS / 14 APR 2015

The cold-blooded double murder of a congressman and his father, himself a former high-court judge and aspiring president, has sent…

BARRIO 18 / 28 AUG 2014

Young people in Nicaragua who migrate to Honduras and El Salvador for work have been influenced by powerful street gangs…

CACHIROS / 3 MAR 2017

Honduras' Attorney General's Office has helped capture some of the country's most powerful criminals and their assets, shaking the country's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.