The Honduran police have been tasked with moving en masse into the country's two largest cities to root out criminal gangs.
Honduran police have moved en masse into poor urban areas to tackle criminal gangs "head on" after a decree by President Xiomara Castro to declare 'national emergency'.
The 30-day emergency measures that began on Tuesday allow police to make arrests without warrants in 89 districts of Tegucigalpa, the capital, and 73 districts of San Pedro Sula, the industrial capital.
President Castro, a leftist, declared last week the rising gang violence a "national emergency".
"We are going to go head on against organised crime," national police director Gustavo Sanchez told some 600 security agents at a dusty football pitch in Aleman, a residential district south of the capital.
The crackdown, he said at a news conference, "is to deal with the criminal structures known as Gang 18 and MS-13", a reference to the two largest transnational street gangs in Honduras.
He said 20,000 police and military police in rotating shifts would take part in the dragnet.
Public pressure has built on Castro to follow in the footsteps of El Salvador, where President Nayib Bukele has brought down gang violence by rounding up thousands of young people on suspicion of gang activity.
The decree that Castro enacted said in part: "By virtue of the serious disturbance of peace and security prevailing in the main cities of the country caused essentially by organised criminal groups... it is resolved: to suspend the guarantees established in the constitution."
Drug trafficking groups and gang members are largely responsible for a soaring rate of homicides. At 40 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, the rate in Honduras is four times higher than the world average.
One objective of the crackdown, Castro said, is to rein in rampant extortion by gangs, which she described as "one of the main reasons for migration and the shuttering of small and medium enterprises".