The Honduran government has enforced curfews in two northern communities as violence has escalated, killing more than 20 people in separate incidents.
President Xiomara Castro has declared a 15-day curfew in Choloma between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., effective immediately, and another in San Pedro Sula beginning on July 4.
According to police press officer Edgardo Barahona, gunmen in a billiards hall in a district in the northern manufacturing city of Choloma opened fire on Saturday night, killing 13 people and badly injuring another.
He also stated that at least 11 other deaths occurred on Saturday in various incidents across the northern Valle de Sula zone, including the industrial city of San Pedro Sulay.
The attacks over the weekend follow a deadly incident earlier this week at a women’s prison near the capital Tegucigalpa that killed 46 people amid a reported break-in by gang members.
There has been a partial state of emergency in parts of Honduras since December in a bid to confront violent gangs and turf wars.
A proposal to “classify members of a criminal structure, maras, or gangs as terrorists” will be sent to Congress in the coming days, according to security minister Gustavo Sanchez, who made the announcement later on Sunday.
At a press conference, the minister also mentioned that 1,000 more law enforcement and military personnel were being transferred to the Sula Valley, which includes Choloma and San Pedro Sul.
The president said that the government is also offering a cash prize of 800,000 Lempiras ($32,707) to assist in locating and apprehending those guilty for the murders in Choloma.