A water vendor crosses the perimeter of a crime scene after a shootout between police and gang members in Tegucigalpa in this November 21, 2013 file photo. Gang culture, first formed in the 1980s in ... more 
A water vendor crosses the perimeter of a crime scene after a shootout between police and gang members in Tegucigalpa in this November 21, 2013 file photo. Gang culture, first formed in the 1980s in the U.S. by Central American immigrants, is rife in the main cities of Honduras. The "Calle 18" and "Mara Salvatrucha" gangs, or "maras," have run wild in Honduras for years and the violence has escalated as Mexican drug cartels invaded the country. Vowing to do "whatever it takes" to end the violence, the ruling National Party's Juan Hernandez drew support from voters tired of the 20 murders a day in a country of just 8.5 million people. But critics worry that tough tactics could lead to a repeat of the bloodletting seen in Mexico, where 80,000 people have been killed since a military offensive was launched against the warring drug cartels in late 2006. Others fear Hernandez's approach also risks ignoring Honduras' root problems: drug abuse, weak institutions, widespread corruption and rampant unemployment. To match Feature HONDURAS-VOTE/ REUTERS/Tomas Bravo/Files (HONDURAS - Tags: CIVIL UNREST CRIME LAW) less 
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Reuters | Photo By TOMAS BRAVO / REUTERS
Wed, Dec 4, 2013 12:39 PM EST