Two women strangled in further political violence in Honduras

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

HONDURAS –Two unidentified young women were found bound and strangled along the road between Villanueva and the village of Santiago in Honduras. A message threatening the same fate to the followers of Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo, the presidential candidate representing the National Party, was discovered with the women's bodies.

Lobo, who is the head of Congress, advocates the return of the death penalty in Honduras. Lobo's support for the death penalty and strong anti-crime views have provoked hostility and violence from Honduran street gangs, known as maras (ants). The two slain women are only the latest in a series of politically motivated violence. A number of people have been discovered cut into pieces with messages against Pepe Lobo, and against the nationalist government of Ricardo Maduro. On the evening of December 23rd, 28 people were killed on a bus near San Pedro Sula.

The government has responded to the recent violence by establishing a strong military presence in San Pedro Sula and the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.

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