HomeNewsBriefVideo Shows 'Professional' Street Execution in Honduras
BRIEF

Video Shows 'Professional' Street Execution in Honduras

HONDURAS / 7 FEB 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Shocking security camera footage of apparently highly trained assassins executing two Honduran students in the street has drawn attention to the complex question of who is behind the spiraling violence in the Central American country.

The footage, published by El Heraldo, was taken from CCTV cameras in Comayaguela -- a city which together with Tegucigalpa forms Honduras’ capital -- in November last year.

The video shows two vehicles stopping in the street next to a group of five youths, who, according to the newspaper, were walking home. As armed men jump from the vehicles, three of the youths run and the assassins open fire.

The armed men then force the other two youths, brothers aged 18 and 20, who were both students, to lie face down on the floor before shooting them in the back of the head.

One of the youths died at the scene, while the other died minutes later in a medical center. The other youths managed to escape, although one, a cousin of the murdered brothers, was injured.

According to experts consulted by El Heraldo, the hit appeared to be a professional operation, and the killers demonstrated a high level of training.

The analyst highlighted how the hitmen in one of the vehicles were dressed the same and had the same weapons, bulletproof vests and balaclavas. The expert also identified the person who appeared to be leading the operation, who conducted a "police-style" search for weapons on the brothers.

According to the experts, the hit squad maintained strategic positions throughout the assault, establishing three rings around the area -- one to deal with the targets, a second to chase the escaping youths, and the third that stayed as lookouts.

Despite the footage, no one has been arrested for the crime. According to El Heraldo, the cameras that recorded the murders have now been turned off, after the Honduran government failed to pay the private security companies that operate them.

InSight Crime Analysis

Aside from being a brutal reminder of the violence sweeping through Honduras, which currently has the highest murder rate in the world, the footage raises important questions as to who is carrying out these murders.

The high level of professionalism of the assassins would seem to suggest that they are not members of street gangs, such as Barrio 18 and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), which are rife in Honduras. Large scale criminal groups also operate in the country, reportedly including Mexican cartel the Zetas.

One possible explanation for the hitmen's high level of training is that they could have had ties to the security forces. The police and military in Honduras are notoriously corrupt and involved in a wide range of criminal activities, including carrying out extrajudicial killings.

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.

Tags

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

HONDURAS / 16 FEB 2015

Four low-ranking military police officers in Honduras were arrested on kidnapping charges, prompting a swift response from the president who…

BARRIO 18 / 27 AUG 2015

Lawmakers in Honduras are considering copying a recent decision by authorities in El Salvador to label gangs as terrorist groups,…

HONDURAS / 3 APR 2014

A top Nicaragua security official says a strategy known as the "wall of containment" has kept drug traffickers…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…