Boy Found Bound,

April 28, 2006

TEGUCIGALPA – A 12-year-old boy was found bound and killed execution-style Saturday after “two armed men” abducted him in an eastern capital neighborhood, police and the victim’s relatives said.

A police spokesman told journalists that the body of Erlin Antonio Escalante was found on April 22 in an unpopulated section of the city with his “hands tied behind him and one gunshot to the head.”

Local residents told the press that the youngster was a member of the “Los Puchos” gang, but that report was denied by the victim’s relatives, who said Escalante had been kidnapped a few hours before his murder by two heavily armed men.

The police spokesman said that last week the authorities took note of two other murders in the Nueva Suyapa neighborhood.

He said that on Thursday, two other Los Puchos gang members aged 21 and 24 were killed, evidently by residents of the neighborhood who were tired of putting up with their misdeeds.

The Salvadoran police say that there are at least 80,000 gang members throughout Central America, most of them in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

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