Juan Manuel Santos (L) and Porfirio Lobo

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos was honored Monday by the exiting and entering presidents of Honduras. For his support of the Central American country in gaining access to the Organization of American States (OAS) and aid in fighting drug trafficking, Santos received the highest honor Honduras offers: the “Great Gold Cross of General Francisco Morazan.”

The exiting head of state Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, pictured above, and the Monday-confirmed head of state, Juan Orlando Hernandez welcomed President Santos and Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Holguin to capital city, Tegucigalpa to present the Colombian leader with the award.

Upon receiving the award, Santos said that supporting Honduras’ reentry into the OAS was an “act of justice.”

Honduras was expelled from the OAS after a 2009 coup brought down their leader, Manuel Zelaya after he was accused of trying to extend his presidential term limit through a referendum. In 2011, with the collaborative help of President Santos and the now late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Honduras was reinstated into the OAS with a vote of 32 to one. Lobo was the president at this time.

“It was not comprehensible nor acceptable that Honduras was out of the community of the American nations. For this reason, in an act of good judgement while taking advantage of the good relations that we had with President Chavez, we did what was possible to make happen what happened, fortunately,” stated Santos.

The Colombian head of state also affirmed that he intends to continue fighting the illegal drug trade with Honduras.

Santos concluded in a grandiose fashion: “For us it is a privilege [to work with Honduras] and also something that we want to do for our own interests. If everything goes well for you, everything goes well for us, concerning everything in the fight against delinquency, against organized crime. It is a crime that knows no boarders, a crime that we have to fight together.”


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