TEGUCIGALPA, Sept 27 (Reuters) - A dead man was found hanging from a bridge in downtown Tegucigalpa on Friday, the first time a corpse has been displayed in the Honduran capital in a style redolent of Mexican drug cartels, police said.

Honduras had the highest murder rate in the world last year, and the impoverished Central American country has become a major staging post for Mexican cartels moving drugs northward.

The man's tattooed, half-naked and handcuffed body was slung off the bridge with a rope around his neck, police said. Another tattooed corpse was left hanging in San Pedro Sula, the country's most violent city, last month.

Violent street gangs in Central America often sport distinctive tattoos, and the San Pedro Sula victim bore markings of the Mara 18 gang.

Honduran police recently launched a crackdown against a local gang of suspected drug smugglers known as "Los Cachiros", who are believed to work with Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel.

Last week authorities seized properties, bank accounts and assets from the gang worth some $800 million. (Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Paul Simao)

Earlier on HuffPost:

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  • In this Oct 17, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes, reflected on a mirror of his motorcycle, shows pictures of his late son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes, 15, at the site where he was shot dead allegedly by soldiers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. According to his relatives, Yanes was killed by soldiers early Sunday, May 27, when he was riding a motorcycle, near a military checkpoint. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct 17, 2012 photo, an image of late Ebed Jaasiel Yanes, 15, sits on his bed at his parent's home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 18, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes carries a sign with an image of his late son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes that reads in Spanish "I'm a victim of the army," in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 17, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes stands near a photograph of his slain son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes in his son's bedroom in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 18, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes carries a sign with an image of his late son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes that reads in Spanish "Killed by soldiers" in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 17, 2012 photo, signs with names of the members of the Yanes family hang on a wall at their home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct 17, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes, on his motorcycle, shows pictures of his late son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes, 15, at the site where he was shot dead, allegedly by soldiers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 17, 2012 photo, Wilfredo Yanes shows photos of a masked soldier at a military checkpoint near the site where his son Ebed Jaasiel Yanes was allegedly shot dead in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.(AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

  • In this Oct. 18, 2012 photo, a sign with a photograph of slain Ebed Jaasiel Yanes, 15, that reads in Spanish "I'm a victim of the army" sits on the floor of the living room of his parents' home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)