The Honduran government has implemented curfews in response to a surge in violence, with over 20 people killed in separate attacks overnight. The targeted cities are experiencing a significant escalation in criminal activities, prompting the authorities to take immediate action.
Deadly Attack in Choloma:
In a brazen act of violence, heavily armed men opened fire at a billiards hall in Choloma, a northern manufacturing city. The attack resulted in the tragic deaths of 13 individuals, with one person sustaining critical injuries. Edgardo Barahona, a police spokesperson, provided details about this harrowing incident.
Spreading Violence in Valle de Sula Zone:
Apart from the horrific incident in Choloma, at least 11 other murders occurred in various locations across the northern Valle de Sula zone. The industrial city of San Pedro Sula, situated in this region, also witnessed several violent episodes. The rising death toll and widespread violence have compelled authorities to take swift action.
Enforcement of Curfews and Security Measures:
In response to the escalating violence, President Xiomara Castro announced a 15-day curfew in Choloma, effective immediately from 9 pm to 4 am. Additionally, a curfew will be implemented in San Pedro Sula, commencing on July 4. President Castro emphasized the initiation of multiple operations, raids, captures, and checkpoints to enhance security.
Government Proposal to Classify Criminal Groups as Terrorists:
In a bid to combat the deep-rooted issue of gang violence, Security Minister Gustavo Sanchez announced that the government intends to propose a classification of criminal structures, maras, or gangs as terrorists. This move aims to provide the authorities with greater power to tackle organized crime effectively.
Reinforcements and Cash Reward:
To address the alarming situation, the government has decided to deploy an additional 1,000 police and military personnel to the Sula Valley, where Choloma and San Pedro Sula are located. Furthermore, a cash reward of 800,000 Lempiras ($32,707) has been offered to incentivize the identification and capture of those responsible for the killings in Choloma.
Continued Violence and Recent Prison Incident:
These recent attacks follow a tragic incident earlier in the week at a women’s prison near the capital, Tegucigalpa, where 46 individuals lost their lives during a reported break-in by gang members. The persistent violence underscores the urgency of addressing the root causes of crime in Honduras.
The surging violence in Honduras has prompted the government to impose curfews and implement security measures to restore law and order. With an increased police and military presence, along with the proposal to classify criminal groups as terrorists, the authorities are taking decisive action to confront the ongoing crisis. The challenges faced by Honduras in combating criminal activities require a comprehensive approach to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens.