Facts to remember
- More than 3 murders are reported every day in Honduras’ second city
- Nearly two thirds of inhabitants of San Pedro Sula live in crippling poverty
- Deadly drug gangs control swathes of the city
On any average day, the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula bears all the hallmarks of a war zone.
The mortuaries overflow with bullet-ridden bodies, the hospital emergency rooms are inundated with the wounded.
But for those people who call San Pedra Sula – recently crown the world’s most violent city for the second year in a row – this is the daily reality of a region ripped apart by the drugs trade.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Honduras’s second largest city has at least three murders reported each day in the coffee-exporting nation.
Arms trafficking has flooded the country with nearly 70per cent illegal firearms – 83.4per cent of homicides are by firearms, compared to 60per cent in the United States.
San Pedro Sula recorded 1,218 homicides in 2012 (a rate of 3.3 murders a day).
Reuters reported last year that San Pedro Sula is saddled with one of South America’s weakest economies – and nearly 70 per cent of the population live in poverty.
Many see crime as their only option. Or they leave, making the long trek to the United States.
Street gangs known as Maras have morphed into deadly organized crime syndicates, while Mexican drug traffickers buy up land and recruit their own squads of killers.
For those who run afoul of the law, justice can be a far horizon. Nearly half of the country’s prisoners have not been convicted and many wait years before they even get a hearing.
Others die in jailhouse stabbings, shootings or fires like the one which surged through the Comayagua prison in February 2012, trapping prisoners in their cells who were burned alive.
Source | dailymail