At first glance, it would appear to be a typical playground scene from anywhere in central America.

The young girls play pit-a-pat and the boys charge excitedly after a half-deflated football across a makeshift pitch of caked mud.

For the rickety wooden classrooms here have just been assigned a second role as the barracks for one of the new military units recently dispatched into the country's most violent districts; a last ditch effort to stem the daily toll of death and bloodshed.

"He gave them everything he had, but still they killed him," Mr Rivera said, his voice breaking.

"It doesn't matter to the gangs where you live or die. It's just so terrible to see someone you love so much taken away for a few cents." Such accounts are depressingly quotidian for Hondurans.

The police were too scared, too ill-equipped, too inefficient and often too complicit in gang crime to venture there.

Col Raudales has 100 troops under his command at the school, part of 1,000 military police involved in the crackdown.

The average payload is worth much more than the plane itself.

While the drug dealers get rich, ordinary Hondurans suffer - not that many of those in the areas plagued by gangs are willing to speak out.But they have also imported their ruthless rivalries.Senior Honduran military personnel privately acknowledge that they are waging a losing battle against the vastly better-resourced "narcos" – despite the backing of the US Drug Enforcement Agency.First his brother was stabbed to death during a home break-in.Then his 22-year-old son, a college student, was gunned down on his way home from buying a soft drink and bag of crisps from a street stand.The murder rate reached an unenviable global high of 85 for every 100,000 residents last year, and is on course to reach 90 per 100,000 in 2013.