Authorities in Honduras will soon deploy a new weapon to fight a rise in crime and violence in the Central American nation.
Beginning this month, a new military style police force will begin patrols in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula as part of crackdown on violence fueled by drug related crimes.
Colonel Jose Lope, the commander of the military police unit, said the police would protect law and order and serve the people.
"The characteristics of the military police… will be to serve the people, be about the people and contribute security and peace… that our people may need," explained Lope.
On Thursday, a ceremony was held to inaugurate the 1,000 officers who were chosen from the ranks of the military to serve in the unit. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo stressed the importance of the country's next leader maintaining the new military style police force once Lobo leaves office.
"Our people have suffered a lot and continue to suffer, but this cannot continue. The next government needs to understand clearly that they need to strengthen security more and that we have the military police to reinforce [security]," declared Lobo.
Lobo also pointed out that the introduction of the new force did not mean a diminishment of the civilian police, but that the two units would complement one another. President Lobo hopes an increased police presence makes a difference in combating crime in his country.
The United Nations said Honduras had one of the highest murder rates in the world last year per capita.