TEGUCIGALPA – A weekend of violence across Honduras left at least 39 people dead, the head of operations and strategy for the national police said Monday.
Twenty-nine people were slain on Sunday alone, Julio Benitez told Canal 5 television in Tegucigalpa.
The northern cities of San Pedro Sula and Yoro each accounted for eight homicides, he said.
Last weekend saw the first implementation of a new regulation banning the sale of alcohol from midday Sunday until 6:00 a.m. Monday.
Authorities adopted the measure in hopes of reducing drunk driving and alcohol-fueled violence.
Police arrested 83 people on Sunday for public intoxication and closed at least five commercial establishments for defying the prohibition on liquor sales, Benitez said.
San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second city, led the list of the 50 most violent major urban areas in the world in 2013 with 187 homicides per 100,000 residents, according to the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, a Mexico-based NGO.
Honduras as a whole suffered 85.5 homicides for every 100,000 residents in 2012, compared with a global median rate of 8.8 murders per 100,000, the Violence Observatory at the National Autonomous University said in a study released a year ago.