Mexico’s “war on drugs” (see my blogs of June 10 and Aug 18) is spilling over. Police in Honduras say that street gangs linked to Mexican drug cartels were responsible for the murder of 18 men in a shoe factory in San Pedro Sula.
A group of gunmen armed with assault rifles burst in and started shooting. It is believed to be part of a territorial dispute between rival groups of drug traffickers. The region where the attack happened is one where gangs refine cocaine before moving it north towards Mexico and the USA.
The drugs gangs have tens of thousands of members in Central America. Neighbouring El Salvador has been severely disrupted for three days by a strike in protest at a new law making gang membership illegal.
Many businesses closed after gangs circulated leaflets saying they would have to “face the consequences” if they stayed open. The law was introduced after gang members set fire to a bus, killing 17 people.