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Monday, March 13, 2023

8 people reportedly killed in suspected land dispute in Honduras

At least eight people were shot and killed Monday in Honduras in an apparent land dispute between families, police said.

Six men, a woman and a minor were shot dead as they were driving in a mountainous area called El Portillo de las Moras, in Comayagua, 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of the capital Tegucigalpa, said Edgardo Barahona, a National Police spokesman.

“They lost their lives instantly,” he told AFP.

“It is presumed the killings could stem from land disputes” between families that own estates in the area, said Norman Velasquez, a spokesman for police in Comayagua. 

Photos of bloodied bodies in a vehicle were posted on social media.

In Comayaguela, near the capital, seven people were killed Saturday when shots were fired at a home in a drug-related incident, police said.

Torn by poverty, drug trafficking and powerful street gangs, Honduras is one of the world’s most violent countries.

Last year, it tallied 35.8 homicides for every 100,000 inhabitants, according to official figures. 

As in other Central American countries, violence has driven many people to risk long and dangerous trips north through Mexico in an effort to reach the United States. 

A state of emergency has been in effect since December giving Honduran police special powers to fight notorious gangs called Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, which control large swathes of territory around the country.

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