viernes, 1 de noviembre de 2013

El Salvador buys 10 warplanes to boost security, sovereignty

El Salvador signed an agreement on 30 October to buy 10 second-hand fighter planes from Chile for USD eight million, to be used in fighting drug trafficking and to "intercept hostile carriers when these enter the national territory," according to El Salvador's Minister of Defence David Munguía Payés. The purchase came as officials of both states insisted in recent weeks on their respective rights over the disputed island of Conejo in the Gulf of Fonseca. El Salvador would also pay USD 570,000 for the A-37B Drangonfly warplanes to be delivered in the first half of 2014; the sale was reportedly agreed on earlier and paid for with financial assistance from the United States. General Munguía said spare parts were included and the planes were useful another 10 to 15 years "depending on the use" made of them, the Salvadorean daily El Mundo reported on 31 October. He cited as hostile "carriers" planes carrying drugs, but said El Salvador also ahd to exercise its sovereignty over 200 square miles of marine territory for which the state did not have enough ships; "if we do not exercise sovereignty over our territory it is as if it were not our territory," he said. El Salvador and Honduras claim they own the Conejo island, although El Salvador's President recently said there was little it could do for now to enforce its claim. The Honduran President Porfirio Lobo said on 18 October that the island was Honduran "property" and could not be negotiated, Nicaragua's El Nuevo Diario reported.

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