At least 11 people were murdered in three violent incidents in Olancho, a province in eastern Honduras, Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla said Sunday.
"We're going to impose order in Olancho. These situations are not going to be permitted to continue occurring," Bonilla told reporters, referring to Saturday night, when eight young men were murdered next to a small soccer field, while three others were killed in two different incidents.
The mass shooting of the eight young men occurred in the La Trinidad neighborhood in the city of Catacamas, some 224 kilometers (139 miles) east of Tegucigalpa.
The young men were chatting beside the soccer field when unidentified gunmen riding in a vehicle shot them, the police chief of the Catacamas sector, Ely Merlo, said.
Two other men were murdered in Santa Maria del Real and another man was killed in the village of Fapilotepe, which is in the jurisdiction of Juticalpa, the provincial administrative center, Merlo said.
Juticalpa, Catacamas, San Esteban and Santa Maria del Real are some of the most violent areas of Olancho, where residents say that drug traffickers operate and multiple killings are a frequent occurrence although they are often not reported because criminals threaten local journalists with death.
Bonilla lamented the fact that Honduran law allows every citizen to have permits for five firearms, something that contributes to the country's wave of violence that in 2011 resulted in a murder rate of 92 per 100,000 residents, according to a recent U.N. report. EFE