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18 massacred in Honduras had no criminal records: report

18 massacred in Honduras had no criminal records: report

The massacre of 18 people in a shoe factory in northern Honduras was likely an attempt by the assailants to eliminate sympathizers of a rival gang even though none of the victims had criminal records, authorities said Wednesday.
Three men with AK-47 rifles burst into the small shoemaking shop and opened fire, killing 18 employees, including the owner's 26-year-old son. The owner himself was not in the shop during the attack.
The killings occurred in Cabanas, a gritty neighborhood in the city of San Pedro Sula that has long been dominated by the Mara 18 street gang, and has been home to its leaders in the past.
"A group from one gang went to the place to eliminate sympathizers from another gang," Security Minister Oscar Alvarez said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Out of respect for the families of the victims, I'm not saying those killed were gangsters but they were friends with some gang members."
However, Alvarez said none of the 18 had criminal records. They were between 15 and 35 years old.
Relatives of some of the victims insisted the men didn't have enemies and had never been threatened by street gangs.
"He didn't mess with anyone. All he did was work," Melania Contreras, whose only son, 19-year-old Julio Contreras, was killed, told the Channel 5 television station.
Reyna Pineda, whose two adult nephews were killed, said that "nobody expected this tragedy."


Updated : 2021-04-18 20:50 GMT+08:00