TEGUCIGALPA - A dead man was found hanging from a bridge in downtown Tegucigalpa on Friday, the first time a corpse has been displayed in the Honduran capital in a style redolent of Mexican drug cartels, police said.
Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world last year, and the impoverished Central American country has become a major staging post for Mexican cartels moving drugs northward.
The man's tattooed, half-naked and handcuffed body was slung off the bridge with a rope around his neck, police said. Another tattooed corpse was left hanging in San Pedro Sula, the country's most violent city, last month.
Violent street gangs in Central America often sport distinctive tattoos, and the San Pedro Sula victim bore markings of the Mara 18 gang.
Honduran police recently launched a crackdown against a local gang of suspected drug smugglers known as "Los Cachiros", who are believed to work with Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel.
Last week authorities seized properties, bank accounts and assets from the gang worth some $800 million.