United States to Donate Radar to Honduras for Fight against Drug Trafficking
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs Frank Mora confirmed in Honduras that his government will donate a special radar to combat illegal drug-trafficking flights.
This device will be able to monitor irregular flights, he stressed. “A radar is important, but sometimes it’s possible to do things that don’t require greater financial capability, but that require greater levels of synchronization,” he noted. Mora did not provide specifics about the technical details of the equipment or its manufacturer, although in this case it should be a primary or long-range radar that will chiefly monitor the airspace over the Honduran Caribbean, the area through which the bulk of illegal flights pass from South America to the north.
Mora was in Honduras to meet with Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla and Defense Minister Marlon Pascua, in order to explain the new defense strategy that U.S. President Barack Obama introduced in January. On his trip, the deputy assistant secretary also visited Guatemala and El Salvador.
Mora emphasized to the two Honduran officials that his country has offered significant aid to the countries of Central America in order to improve collaboration in the fight against drug trafficking. For the fiscal year beginning in October, the United States has budgeted a donation of 130 million dollars for the countries of the region to execute their strategies against drug trafficking. This assistance is part of the cooperation provided through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), which emphasizes institutional support for law enforcement, development, and prevention, among other areas, Mora explained.
The deputy assistant secretary acknowledged that the United States needs to put more effort into reducing drug use, as President Porfirio Lobo asked, although the U.S. official explained that the acquisition of hallucinogens in the U.S. has fallen by about 30 percent.