May 15, 2008 / 2:07 AM / 9 years ago

Thousands march against drug violence in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, May 14 (Reuters) - Wearing white and waving handkerchiefs, some 30,000 Hondurans marched in the northern city of San Pedro Sula on Wednesday to condemn a bloody crime wave fueled by violence between rival drug gangs.

"We want peace, we want peace," shouted the marchers who took to the streets of the country's second largest city, home to drug traffickers fighting to control routes of Colombian cocaine bound for the United States.

Some marchers carried photographs of relatives killed in the violence and dozens of doves were freed at the city cathedral where the march, organized by the Roman Catholic Church and local business groups, ended.

"Enough with so much bloodshed," local Bishop Romulo Emiliani told reporters. "There are a lot of mothers that cry every day and this bloody crime wave does not stop. This is hell."

Street gangs, known as maras, are also behind some of the murders. The city also has a high rate of kidnappings and other violent crimes.

President Manuel Zelaya has been unable to reduce the rate of murders and other violence, an issue he promised to tackle when he took office in 2006. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia, Writing by Chris Aspin)




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