PUERTO CORTÉS, Honduras, Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- At a dedication ceremony for the new Honduran ship Gracias a Dios, President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that crime in Honduras plunged to its lowest level in a decade this past October.
"We are making strides in crime reduction previously thought impossible," President Hernández said. "Gracias a Dios will help us continue to fight and win our war on crime."
Gracias a Dios is a logistical support and coastal vessel designed to fight drug, currency, and human trafficking in the Atlantic. The ship is the product of a bilateral agreement between Honduras and Colombia. It was built in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, with input from the Honduran government.
President Hernández said that Gracias a Dios will be used for humanitarian aid and crime prevention, not military exercises. The ship is fully equipped with the latest maritime technology and can sail for 40 days without returning to port.
During the ceremony, Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegaspledged to help Honduras continue making strides in regional security. "[Building this ship] was not a military act, but one of brotherhood, unity, and commitment," he said.
Minister Villegas added that Honduras's lower crime rate is "good news for Hondurans, of course, but it's also good news for the region, for Latin America."
Gracias a Dios will make its first voyage to La Mosquitia in eastern Honduras to provide social assistance and deter crime.
"Organized crime and drug trafficking have no place in Honduras," President Hernández said. "With resources like Gracias a Dios at our disposal, my administration will keep working to make Honduras a safer place for our citizens."