Hardly any of Honduras’ military budget for 2012 will be invested in military or police equipment, according to the Minister of Finance. Instead, the country appears set to rely on outside donor countries to fund the purchase of technology needed to fight drug trafficking.
According to Minister of Finance William Chong Wong, about a third of Honduras’ military budget for 2012 will go towards supporting the Army Infantry, as reported by Infodefensa, a Spain-based website which monitors defense spending in the Americas.
That’s $64 million out of the approximate total of $155 million budgeted for the armed forces.
Another $16 million is budgeted towards supporting military operations carried out in conjunction with the police, with an additional $19 million allocated towards fighting “drug trafficking, terrorism, arms trafficking, and organized crime,” the Minister of Finance said.
The total 2012 budget is only a slight rise from 2010 ($136 million) and 2011 ($140 million), but is about $25 million less than the budget originally requested by the security minister.
InSight Crime Analysis
As Infodefensa points out, at first glance it appears as though the 2012 military budget includes no allocations for the purchase of security equipment needed to fight drug trafficking and crime. This includes, but is not limited to, radar, satellites, aircraft, computers, and more basic equipment like lie-detector tests and X-ray machines.
This could be one indication that the Honduran government plans to continue lobbying hard for donor countries like the US to supply such equipment, under measures like the·Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI).
So far the US has promised to deliver four·MXT-7-180 light aircraft to the Honduran Air Force, meant to be used for drug trafficking and rescue operations. Honduras has also asked for a $120 million radar system and helicopters.
Honduras also made move towards installing a security tax last year, which authorities said would have been used to buy advanced drug monitoring technology, including Tucano aircraft. But the Honduran Congress watered down the proposed tax amid protests from the business lobby.