US Establishes Honduras Naval Base to Fight Drug Trafficking

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A new, U.S.-funded naval base in the Bay Islands, off Honduras’ northeast coast, is intended to strengthen efforts against organized crime in a country that has seized a record 20 tons of cocaine in 2011.

A $2 million dollar naval facility financed by the U.S. will open next month in Guanaja, in the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras. The high-tech facility will support joint operations to intercept marine and air vessels being used to traffic drugs through the region.

The Guanaja base is the second U.S.-funded installation in the area, the first of which was established in Honduras’ northern Gracias a Dios department.

Honduras’ Defense Minister Marlon Pascua also announced that authorities have intercepted a record high of 20 tons of cocaine so far in 2011. He said that in previous years total seizures have not reached above 8 tons.

Pascua also noted that, in addition to the interception of a drug-smuggling semi-submersible vessel in August, authorities confiscated two other similar vessels this year.

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