Gunmen Kill Former Honduran Cabinet Official
A former Honduran Cabinet official has been killed after he was shot by three gunmen in the country's northern city of La Ceiba on Jan. 24.
The Associated Press identified the official as Marco Julio Tróchez and said he had previously served as Honduras' youth minister under President Porfirio Lobo Sosa. The local newspaper La Tribuna, however, listed the man's name as Marco Tulio Tróchez and his cabinet rank as vice minister.
Tróchez owned what The AP called "numerous businesses" in La Ceiba, a port city of about 200,000 inhabitants some 250 north of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa. Three gunmen attacked the former official as he drove up to his apartment building, the newswire detailed based on police reports.
Gunmen Waited for Hours
The Honduran National Police were investigating the incident, according to La Tribuna. Quoting witnesses, the newspaper said that Tróchez had been accompanied by other members of the country's National Party when he approached his residence, where the gunmen had been waiting for hours.
Fernando Meza Lazo, a local coordinator for the government program "Vida Mejor" was injured in the shooting, the paper added. The official suffered four gunshot wounds in different parts of his body and was taken to a hospital, while Tróchez was pronounced dead at the scene.
Honduras Among World's Most Violent Nations
Honduras has long seen rampant gang violence, and it ranks among the countries with the highest per-capita homicide rate in the world. According to official government statistics, at least 14 people are killed in the South American country every day. Last year, the overall homicide rate was 57 for every 100,000 people.
Nevertheless, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández celebrated on Jan. 25 that his nation was no longer the most dangerous in the world, according to Univision.
"Honduras has ceased to be the most violent country on the face of the earth," Orlando Hernández said in his annual state of the union address before the country's Congress. "We have changed the tendency," the president insisted.
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