TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Gunmen killed six people Sunday in Honduras, the first mass killing of the year in one of the world’s most violent countries, police said.
Police spokesman Leonel Sauceda told local media that the attack, in a house in the town of Tejeras in central Comayagua province, took place in the early hours of the morning, leaving six males dead.
Authorities said narcotics trafficking appeared to be involved. Sauceda said a relative of the victims had been jailed three years ago for selling drugs. And another local police official, José Luis Flores, said authorities mounted an anti-drug operation in the same house 10 days ago.
Honduras last year witnessed 96 killings of three or more people, with a total of 360 victims, though that number was down slightly from 2014.
The Violence Observatory at Honduras’s respected National Autonomous University estimates that 2015 closed with about 60 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, down from 68 in 2014, although December figures are not yet final.
The government estimates the rate has fallen even further, saying Honduras no longer holds the dubious distinction of being the world’s murder capital.