Why you should go anywhere in the world except Honduras (Viewer Discretion Advised)

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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

Horrific: A man sits in the emergency room of a local hospital after being treated for a gun shot wound and several cuts with a machete in San Pedro Sula
Horrific: A man sits in the emergency room of a local hospital after being treated for a gun shot wound and several cuts with a machete in San Pedro Sula
A security guard holds his breath while standing next to the covered-up dead body of a 16-year old boy who had gunshot to his head,
Shocking: A security guard holds his breath while standing next to the covered-up dead body of a 16-year old boy who had gunshot to his head, at the morgue of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula
Agony: A man with a gunshot wound to his neck reacts while lying on a stretcher at the emergency ward of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula
Agony: A man with a gunshot wound to his neck reacts while lying on a stretcher at the emergency ward of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula

 

Tragedy: People observe the dead body of a family member
Tragedy: People observe the dead body of a family member who had died of gunshot wounds after being attacked by a gang while a patient lying on a stretcher covers his face at the emergency ward of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula
 A collection of shocking photographs paints a truly gruesome picture of life in a city where vicious gangs and drug cartels who operate freely in an area of lawlessness, poverty and a decaying justice system.

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.

Distraught: Family members react while standing next to a woman who died after she was hit by a stray bullet during a shoot-out between rival gangs in San Pedro Sula
Up against it: Doctors look at an X-ray as they tend to gunshot victims at the emergency ward of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula, the country's second largest city

Horrific: The feet of a dead man lying on a stretcher are seen inside the morgue with a bloodied gurney in the foreground
Gunmen have taken control of slums and villages, well aware that the police are ineffective and corrupt.

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.

Gruesome: People peek into the emergency ward near the bloody legs of a woman who had been assaulted by her husband

Violence rules: Doctors tend to a man who had a gunshot wound. San Pedro Sula, the country's second largest city has a homicide rate of 169 per 100,000 people

Fighting for life: The legs of a man who received a gunshot to his head are tied to a stretcher as medics attempt to treat him

Keeping his faith: A man with a cross reading 'Jesus loves you' lies on a stretcher after receiving a gunshot wound to his leg

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.

Wounded: A man reacts as a doctor treats his wounds after he had been attacked by a gang in San Pedro Sula
Human misery: Two men on stretchers are taken to the operation room at a local hospital after they had been attacked by a gang in San Pedro Sula
Human misery: Two men on stretchers are taken to the operation room at a local hospital after they had been attacked by a gang in San Pedro Sula
Shocking: The dead body of a man who died of gunshot wounds is seen at the morgue of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula last month
Shocking: The dead body of a man who died of gunshot wounds is seen at the morgue of a local hospital in San Pedro Sula last month

 

Sickening: Medical scissors lie in a puddle of blood on the floor of the emergency room in San Pedro Sula

Overrun: Family members of patients sleep in a corridor of the emergency ward. Arms trafficking has flooded the country with nearly 70 per cent illegal firearms

A doctor talks to a patient's family member: Mortuaries overflow with bullet-ridden bodies and hospital emergency rooms are inundated with the wounded

In constant use: A man pushes a stretcher after taking a body to the morgue
Taken out: The dead body of a man is seen after he was shot by gang members. Lax laws allow civilians to own up to five personal guns Fatal: The dead body of a woman who was was killed with three gunshots to the head is seen at a crime scene in San Pedro Sula

Gunned down: The dead body of a woman who was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle is seen at a crime scene in San Pedro Sula Gunned down: The dead body of a woman who was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle is seen at a crime scene in San Pedro Sula
Too much to bear: Family members break down while standing next to the body of a woman who was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle in San Pedro Sula last monthToo much to bear: Family members break down while standing next to the body of a woman who was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle in San Pedro Sula last month

Macabre: Forensic technicians lift the dead body of the woman into a vehicle before taking her away

Plague of killings: The covered-up body of a young man shot dead along a rural lane. Honduras's second largest city has at least three murders reported each day
Carnage: The covered-up body of a man killed in a shoot-out between members of the Mara 18 street gang and police and military during an anti-drug operation lies in a house entrance in San Pedro Sula

Grief: People carry a coffin for a family member who had died a violent death, outside a local hospital in San Pedro Sula

Common sight: People stand near a crime scene where a man was shot dead by gang members. More than 80% of homicides are by firearms, compared to 60% in the United States
At war: Police officers climb on a pick-up truck after getting word of a shoot-out between gangs during an anti-drug operation in San Pedro Sula

Held: Suspected members of the Mara 18 street gang sit on a pick-up truck after their arrest after a shoot-out with police and military during an anti-drug operation
Deadly: Confiscated weapons lie on a couch after the arrest of several members of the Mara 18 street gang after a shoot-out with police and military during an anti-drug operation in San Pedro Sula last monthD

Source | dailymail

Segun Adekoye

Segun Adekoye

A rolling stone. A Netnerd. An idea laboratoire. I'm a strategist. Personal Blog. Follow me on Twitter @segunsd

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