OAS and Honduras discuss "roadmap"
for Drug-Trafficking and Security
The OAS Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell and Victor Hugo Barnica Presidential Designee from Honduras (right).
THIS PAST JANUARY 19TH, the Presidencial Designee from Honduras, Dr. Victor Hugo Barnica, visited the Organization of American States’ (OAS) Secretariat for Multidimensional Security headquartered in Washington DC. During his visit, a “roadmap” to face the problems related to security and drug-trafficking found in the Central American country was discussed.
“We are rebuilding our relationship with Honduras in order to address issues of multidimensional security,” said the Secretary of Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell. “This all began about a month ago with my trip to Tegucigalpa, when I proposed to the Minister of Security and Chancellor an analysis regarding their security system and the possibility of discussing a roadmap which would lead to improving this area.”
For his part, Dr. Barnica, who also serves as Chairman of the National Council Against Drug Trafficking of Honduras, noted that the meeting, “has been very important and in a very short amount of time we have pieced together a relationship that was shelved for more than two years. A month ago we had our first contact and now we have launched a very profound and intense project."
In 2009 after the Coup D’état, Honduras was suspended from the OAS. However during the June 2011 General Assembly in San Salvador, Honduras was reincorporated, with complete rights, back into the OAS.
The Honduran Delegation was headed by Dr. Barnica, Engineer Kerim Francisco Maldonado, Council Executive Secretary and the Honduran Ambassador to the OAS, Leonidas Rosa Bautista. The Honduran Authorities met with Secretary Blackwell, the Executive Secretary of the InterAmerican Commission for the Control of Drug Abuse (CICAD), Ambassador Paul Simons, and the Adjunct Executive Secretary of the CICAD, Rafael Franzini.
Blackwell pointed out that “We are also talking about the possibility to integrate an anti-drug-trafficking program within the CICAD family. Additionally, we analyzed the security facet in strategic areas such as ports and airports, which are under the jurisdiction of the InterAmerican Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE). Other OAS programs have also been under consideration such as those related to gun trafficking and our Loving Peace program.”
For his part, Ambassador Simons said that CICAD plans to apply six programs in Honduras: "The first is a collaboration with the National Drug Plan, primarily for institutional advice; the second is the collection of evidence, statistics and analysis for the Inter-American Observatory on Drugs, and
another one refers to the reactivation of the Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism (MEM). Honduras is one of the countries where this system was developed and now we want to reactivate it again”. “A fourth program, Simons continued, “addresses the issue of treating people with addiction problems, the fifth one to control the supply of drugs; including police training programs, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Finally we want to work in the area of money laundering and managing assets seized.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Barnica highlighted the importance of working on "issues related to drug addiction, drug trafficking and human trafficking giving us an important insight which will allow us to help the Honduran people."
"We need to regain their confidence to face a problem that overwhelms us so much, because organized crime is hitting us very hard and it directly affects our young people. This is because a large portion of the drugs that enter our country stays domestically, thus we must do preventive work, "he added.
"For Honduras it is also a priority to get advice from the Merchant Marine, as we have a very large navy and it is important to work on security issues in order to ensure safe harbors," surmised the Honduran high official.