HomeNewsBrief'Mara' Gangs Behind 11 Deaths in North Honduras: Govt
BRIEF

'Mara' Gangs Behind 11 Deaths in North Honduras: Govt

BARRIO 18 / 21 MAR 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The government says a wave of violence in northern Honduras that left at least 11 people dead within 48 hours is due to gang warfare, but the reality may be more complex.

The spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office in San Pedro Sula said the conflict began when members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang killed two members of Barrio 18 (M-18) on Monday night, reports the AFP.

Barrio 18 retaliated by killing four alleged members of the MS-13 in La Lima, a town some 260 kilometers north of San Pedro Sula, the spokesperson said. The group then reportedly murdered five more alleged MS-13 members in another town, Chamelecon (see map, below). Police say they have captured one suspect responsible for the Chamelecon killings.

The deaths followed a massacre on Sunday in the northern port city La Ceiba, where gunmen killed seven people in a pool hall.

InSight Crime Analysis

The alleged conflict between MS-13 and Barrio 18 is taking place in Cortes province, which, according to the National Autonomous University of Honduras, registered the highest number of homicides in Honduras last year, with 1,915 killings. Human rights organization Conadeh released slightly different numbers, but found that Cortes and another province, Francisco Morazan, accounted for 46 percent of the violent deaths registered in Honduras last year.

Along with the province of Atlantida, where La Ceiba is located, these three northern provinces have seen the highest levels of violence in the country since 2008.

There are different explanations for why these areas have been so badly afflicted. One is that the killings are part of gang wars, as with the government's explanation for the 11 murders on Monday and Tuesday. But as human rights group Conadeh has observed, police frequently commit extrajudicial killings and then pass off the deaths as being related to gang infighting. Cortes and the other provinces have also been the site of land conflict, with farm workers pressuring for agrarian reform. Activist groups have said part of the violence is related to this struggle.

Government institutions allege that gang rivalry is responsible for much of Honduras' violence, but the reality is often more complex.


View San Pedro Sula in a larger map

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 SEP 2018

Guatemala President Jimmy Morales' decision not to renew the mandate of the United Nations-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala…

EL SALVADOR / 5 OCT 2017

In our October 5 Facebook Live session, Co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos about InSight Crime's…

HONDURAS / 1 NOV 2010

Two Honduran diplomats reported being kidnapped temporarily by unknown perpetrators in Veracruz, Mexico last Saturday. But the state…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…