Residents flee Honduran capital neighborhood after gang threats
Tegucigalpa, Mar 24 (EFE).- At least 30 families on Thursday abandoned their homes in a Tegucigalpa neighborhood after the Mara 18 gang threatened them, residents said.
The threats were made directly by 10 gangmembers carrying AK-47 rifles in the Las Torres Numero 2 neighborhood. The gangmembers, who had their faces covered, came to the neighborhood on Wednesday night and "told us that in 24 hours we would have to leave our homes," said one of the residents.
Some of the threatened residents, including people who have lived in the same neighborhood for more than 20 years, called media outlets on the telephone to express their concerns.
National Police chief Hector Ivan Mejia told reporters that security forces have taken control of the situation and that the residents can return to their homes.
According to Mejia, the National Police will maintain a "permanent" presence in the area to ensure the safety of the locals. He added that the authorities will not allow "any (group) to take away the tranquility of the community."
A similar incident occurred two days ago in the Reparto Lempira neighborhood in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, where the Military Police intervened to reassert public order.