On February 23 in Managua, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, agreed to strengthen trade and security cooperation in order to confront the organized crime that has made Honduras one of the most violent countries in the world.
Following a meeting lasting almost four hours, the presidents agreed to carry out coordinated actions “in response to the serious threat” of organized crime and drug trafficking, which uses Central America as a transit corridor for drugs moving from South America to the United States.
Honduras has a homicide rate of 82 per 100,000 inhabitants, making it one of the most violent countries in the world, while Nicaragua, together with Costa Rica, is among the Central American countries least affected by organized crime, although the figures are on the increase.
The presidents also decided to strengthen trade and implement joint programs that can make it possible to combat extreme poverty in border towns, according to a joint statement read by Ortega.
In addition, they decided to reopen discussion on cooperation agreements for development in the Gulf of Fonseca, on the Pacific Ocean, which they also share with El Salvador, for which reason they want to meet with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes in the near future.
Lobo arrived in Managua with Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales, Social Development Minister Hilda Hernández, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Melvin Redondo.
Honduras and Nicaragua are two of the poorest countries in the Americas, after Haiti, and “we have to support one another mutually,” Ortega indicated.