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Friday, May 2, 2014

Central America under Siege by Rival Gangs - Children Being Tortured and Murdered

Police in Honduras and neighbouring El Salvador and
Guatemala are struggling to deal with violent criminal gangs
Honduran authorities are investigating the deaths of at least seven children who may have been murdered after refusing to join criminal gangs.

In the latest case, police found the body of a seven-year-old boy who appeared to have been tortured.

His 13-year-old brother was found dead a day before.

All the crimes took place over the last month in an area dominated by street gangs in the industrial city of San Pedro Sula.

Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Correspondents say most of the violence is caused by the constant battling between the country's main maras, or street gangs - Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha - which have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Honduras' attorney general, Oscar Fernando Chinchilla, travelled to the northern city on Friday to oversee the investigations.

The attorney general insisted the involvement of criminal gangs was just one of the lines of investigation.

Police investigators, however, had already said they believed street gangs were behind the killings.

The violent maras are also believed to be responsible for thousands of killings in neighbouring Central American countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras - Murder capitol of the world
The blog WoeBeGone - The worst blog on the internet - according to itself, reports that San Pedro Sula is the most dangerous city in the world, with 159 murders per 100,000 people. To put it into some context- if you were put the same murder:population statistic up against that of, say, Dublin, there would be 1,590 murders in Dublin every year. Fortunately there were only 78.

In this Wild West city, gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, operate with impunity. MS-13 was born in the 1980s among Central American-born inmates in the prisons of California and spread to Central America when members were deported back home by the U.S. 

They found fertile ground in Honduras and other countries with underfunded police forces and corrupt officials. Hondurans say gangs have imposed an almost unchallenged reign of extortion, murder and drug trafficking on this city and others.      #honduras