|Armed Forces of Honduras|
|Fuerzas Armadas de Honduras|
|Service branches||Honduran Air Force|
|Commander-in-Chief||Porfirio Lobo Sosa|
|General||René Arnoldo Osorio Canales|
|Military age||18 for voluntary 2-3 year service|
1,868,940 males, age 16-49, |
1,825,770 (2008 est.) females, age 16-49
1,397,938 males, age 16-49, |
1,402,398 (2009 est.) females, age 16-49
92,638 males, |
88,993 (2009 est.) females
|Percent of GDP||1.1% as of 2012|
This article deals with the armed forces of Honduras.
During the twentieth century, Honduran military leaders frequently became presidents, either through elections or by coups d'état. General Tiburcio Carías Andino was elected in 1932, he later on called a constituent assembly that allowed him to be reelected, and his rule became more authoritarian until an election in 1948. During the following decades, the military of Honduras carried out several coups d'état, starting in October 1955. General Oswaldo López Arellano carried out the next coup in October 1963 and a second in December 1972, followed by coups in 1975 by Juan Alberto Melgar Castro and in 1978 by Policarpo Paz García.
Events during the 1980s in El Salvador and Nicaragua led Honduras — with US assistance — to expand its armed forces considerably, laying particular emphasis on its air force, which came to include a squadron of US-provided F-5s. The military unit Battalion 316 carried out political assassinations and the torture of suspected political opponents of the government during this same period. Battalion members received training and support from the United States Central Intelligence Agency, in Honduras, at U.S. military bases and in Chile during the presidency of the dictator Augusto Pinochet. Amnesty International estimated that at least 184 people were "disappeared" during from 1980 to 1992 in Honduras, most likely by the Honduran military.
The resolution of the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and across-the-board budget cuts made in all ministries, has brought reduced funding for the Honduran armed forces. The abolition of the draft has created staffing gaps in the now all-volunteer armed forces. The military is now far below its authorized strength, and further reductions are expected. In January 1999, the Constitution was amended to abolish the position of military commander-in-chief of the armed forces, thus codifying civilian authority over the military.
Since 2002, soldiers have been involved in crime prevention and law enforcement, patrolling the streets of the major cities alongside the national police.
On 28 June 2009, in the context of a constitutional crisis, the military, acting on orders of the Supreme Court of Justice, arrested the president, Manuel Zelaya after which they forcibly removed elected President Zelaya from Honduras. See the article 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis regarding claims regarding legitimacy and illegitimacy of the event, and events preceding and following the removal of Zelaya from Honduras.
The military's chief lawyer, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza Membreño, made public statements regarding the removal of Zelaya. On June 30, he showed a detention order, apparently signed June 26 by a Supreme Court judge, which ordered the armed forces to detain the president. Colonel Inestroza later stated that deporting Zelaya did not comply with the court order: "In the moment that we took him out of the country, in the way that he was taken out, there is a crime. Because of the circumstances of the moment this crime occurred, there is going to be a justification and cause for acquittal that will protect us." He said the decision was taken by the military leadership "in order to avoid bloodshed".
Human rights violations during 2009
Following the 2009 ouster of the president, the Honduran military together with other government security forces were allegedly responsible for thousands of allegedly arbitrary detentions and for several forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of opponents to the de facto government, including members of the Democratic Unification Party. However, evidence about these actions has yet to be provided and there has been some questioning in local media about the actual perpetrators, suggesting that they could actually be related to disputes within the leftists organizations themselves.
Military-civilian relations and leadership
According to a statement in July 2009 by a legal counsel of the Honduras military, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, part of the elite Honduran military generals were opposed to President Manuel Zelaya, whom the military had removed from Honduras via a military Coup d'état, because of his left-wing politics. Inestroza stated, "It would be difficult for us [the military], with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible."
The current head of the armed forces is Carlos Antonio Cuéllar, graduate of the General Francisco Morazan Military Academy and the School of the Americas. In January 2011, the General Rene Arnoldo Osorio Canales former head of the Presidential Honor Guard, was appointed Commander.
As of 2012 the Honduran Military has the highest military expenditures of all Central America.
Sub Machine Guns
- H&K MP-5
- M1 garand
- M1 carbine
- M14 rifle
- FN FAL
- IMI Galil
- M16 rifle
- M4 Carbine
- Beretta AR70/90
- IMI TAR-21 Tavor
- Galil ACE
Light Machine Guns
Vehicles and Artillery
|Scorpion||Light tank||19||Alvis Cars||FV-101\76 76mm main gun.|
|Scimitar||Armoured Recce tank||3||Alvis Cars||FV-107 30mm main gun.|
|Sultan||Command Vehicle||1||Alvis Cars||FV-105|
|AM General HumveeM 998||APC 4x4||30||M40 106mm RCL.|
|RBY MK 1||Wheeled Reconnaissance Vehicle||16||IAI (RAMTA division)||M40 106mm RCLs.|
|Saladin||Armoured Car||72||Alvis Cars||FV-601. 6x6 76mm main gun.|
|M151 MUTT||Light Utility Vehicle||Various|
|AM General Humvee M 998||4x4||Various|
|M35||6x6 Cargo Truck||Various|
|Ford F-Series Truck||F-250 4x4 Truck||Various|
|Ashok Leyland Stallion||4x4 Truck||110||2009-||Ashok Leyland||Ordered in January, 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.|
|Ashok Leyland Topchi||4x4 Truck||28||2009-||Ashok Leyland||Ordered in January, 2009. Part of an order for 139 miscellaneous utility and transport vehicles.|
|Mercedes Benz L Series||4x4 Truck||Various||Mercedes Benz||Some to be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion|
|Mercedes Benz Unimog||4x4 Truck||Various||Mercedes Benz||To be replaced for Ashok Leyland Stallion|
|M102||Towed 105mm Howitzer||24|
|M101||Towed 105mm Howitzer||20|
|M198||Towed 155mm Howitzer||12|
|Brandt M0-120LT||120mm Mortar||60||Brandt|
|M55A2||20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun||80||34 in service, most in storage.|
|M167 VADS||20mm Anti-Aircraft Gatling Gun||30|
|TCM-20||20mm Anti-Aircraft Gun||24|
The FAH operates from 4 air bases located at:
- Hernan Acosta Mejia Air Base at Tegucigalpa
- Soto Cano Air Base at Comayagua,
- Armando Escalon Espinal Air Base at San Pedro Sula
- Hector Caraccioli Moncada at La Ceiba.
With the exception of Soto Cano Air Base, all other air bases operate as dual civil and military aviation facilities.
Additionally, 3 air stations located at:
- Alto Aguán (bomb range)
- Puerto Lempira airstrips serve as forward operations locations-FOL.
Also a radar station operates at:
- La Mole peak.
The navy is a small force dealing with coastal and riverine security.
The navy has 31 patrol boats and landing craft.
|Guaymuras class (105 foot Swift type)||United States||patrol boat||3||FNH 101 Guaymuras |
FNH 102 Honduras W/O
FNH 103 Hibueras W/O
|Yojoa (Hollyhock class)||United States||coastal buoy tender||1||FNH 252 Yojoa - ex-US Coast Guard Walnut W/O Broke in half during Hurricane Mitch|
|Punta Caxinas (149 foot Lantana type)||United States||coastal transport||1||FNH-1491|
|Choluteca Class (65 foot Swift type)||United States||coastal patrol craft||5||FNH 651 Nacaome |
FNH 652 Goascoran
FNH 653 Petula
FNH 654 Ulua
FNH 655 Choluteca
|Piraña class||Napco United States||riverine ops boat||8|
|Boston Whaler Guardián Class||United States||riverine ops boat||10|
|Tegucigalpa Class (106 foot Lantana type)||United States||patrol boat||3||FNH 1061-1062|
|Chamelecán Class (85 foot Dabur type)||Israel||patrol boat||1||FNH-8501|
|WARUNTA Class (75 foot LCM-8)||United States||landing craft||3||FNH 741-743|
|United States||small river patrol boat||15|
|Damen Stan Patrol Boat (140 foot 4207)||Patrol Boat||4207||2||FNH 1401 Lempira - FNH 1402 Morazan|
|Damen Stan Interceptor 1102||Interceptor Boat||1102||6|
The Honduran navy has 4 naval bases:
- Base Naval Puerto Cortés - main repair and logistics base on the Caribbean Sea
- Base Naval Puerto Castilla - main operating base of patrol boats on the Caribbean Sea
- Base Naval Amapala - main operating base of coastal patrol craft on the north end of the island and only base on the Pacific Ocean side of Honduras
- Base Naval Caratasca - new base to deal with drug trafficking
Additionally, the Honduran navy has the following unit and schools:
- 1st. Marine lnfanty Battalion - only marine unit loocated at La Ceiba
- Honduras Naval Academy - Trains officers for the Honduras Navy at La Ceiba
- Naval Training Center - NCO and Sailor training facility
- Honduran presidential plane
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- Cohn, Gary; Ginger Thompson (1995-06-11). "When a wave of torture and murder staggered a small U.S. ally, truth was a casualty". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2009-07-26. http://www.webcitation.org/5iZNHFhbk. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
- Equipo Nizkor, LA APARICION DE OSAMENTAS EN UNA ANTIGUA BASE MILITAR DE LA CIA EN HONDURAS REABRE LA PARTICIPACION ARGENTINO-NORTEAMERICANA EN ESE PAIS., Margen (Spanish)
- "Honduras: Still waiting for justice". Amnesty International. 1998. http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR37/004/1998/en/667ec8d1-daba-11dd-80bc-797022e51902/amr370041998en.html. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
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- English summary of interview with the legal counsel of the Honduras armed forces, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, Robles, Frances (2009-07-03). "Top Honduran military lawyer: We broke the law". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. http://www.webcitation.org/5jb00TM3J. Retrieved 2009-09-06. ; original (Spanish) Dada, Carlos; José Luis Sanz (2009-07-02). "Cometimos un delito al sacar a Zelaya, pero había que hacerlo (". El Faro.net, El Salvador. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. http://www.webcitation.org/5jayZVstj. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- "Ejército de Honduras reconoció que cometió un delito al sacar a Zelaya" (in Spanish). www.cooperativa.cl. Compañía Chilena de Comunicaciones S.A.. http://www.cooperativa.cl/prontus_nots/site/artic/20090703/pags/20090703161258.html. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
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- "Informe Preliminar Violaciones A Derechos Humanos En El Marco Del Golpe De Estado En Honduras". Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras. 2009-07-15. Archived from the original on 2009-07-29. http://www.webcitation.org/5idrrrUX9. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
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- "International Mission denounces the brutal repression of pacific demonstrations". Agencia Latinoamerica de Información. 2009-07-30. Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. http://www.webcitation.org/5ijh7EsjY. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- Quixote Center Emergency Delegation of Solidarity, Accompaniment and Witness (2009-08-07). "Letter to Honduran Attorney General Rubi". Quixote Center. Archived from the original on 2009-08-08. http://www.webcitation.org/5isyiJ165. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
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- Jane's Infantry Weapons 2007-08. Jane's Information Group. p. 876.
- "A$10.5 million order for Ashok Leyland from Honduras". Machinist.in. 16 January 2009. http://machinist.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1877&Itemid=2. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
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