Honduras Congress Approves $62 million Boat Rental Contract to fight Drug Trafficking

In a closed session yesterday, the Honduras Congress approved a contract presented by the newly formed, six month old company, Maritime International Services (Servicios Marítimos Internacionales), to rent (with an option to buy) boats to be used by the Honduran Navy to fight drug trafficking.

The President of the Honduran Congress, Juan Orlando Hernandez, ordered the press out of the room in order to conduct the session in private, claiming the session to be a National Security issue. Although this is good news on the fight against drugs in Honduras, many questions surround the fact that the session was held in private, and  that a contract of this magnitude was granted to company that was formed just six months ago.

Honduras Navy to Fight Drug Boats

Let’s hope that the money is well spent on properly equipped boats for the Honduran Navy, as drug traffickers can get creative (evidenced by this 2,000 Horse Power high speed drug trafficking boat!).

What we do know is that the Country of Holland has co-signed and guaranteed the $62 million dollar loan which will be used to fund this contract. The bank that issued the loan is also based in Holland. Honduras will pay an interest rate of 3.97 % interest for 13 years, with a grace period of the first year.  The total capital expenditure is $42 million dollars, with another $20 million dollars going toward interest.

If everything is on the up and up with this deal, as we all hope it is (and does not involve the usual corruption associated with congress awarding contracts to newly formed and ghost companies), this is good news for the Honduran Navy; as their current ability to fight drug trafficking is hampered by the run down, on average, 30 year old equipment they have.

Case in point, on a recent Fishing Trip to the Bay Islands of Honduras by former USA President Jimmy Carter, the Honduran Navy was not even close to being able to keep up with the three high speed boats being used by Jimmy Carter and the US secret service. Imagine trying to catch drug traffickers!


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