TEGUCIGALPA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Juan Orlando Hernandez, of Honduras' conservative National Party (PN), was sworn in Monday as the country's president amid tight security at a ceremony in the capital Tegucigalpa.
At the ceremony at the Tiburcio Carias Andino National Stadium, Hernandez, who was elected on Nov. 24, 2013, received the presidential sash from Mauricio Villeda, president of the National Congress, amid applause from the crowd of some 30,000 people, including top officials from the United States, diplomats from more than 56 countries and delegations from the country's 18 departments.
Hernandez addressed the crowd, pledging to deal with the country's high crime rate.
"The Honduran state is responsible for guaranteeing the security of the Honduran people," said the 45-year-old who is succeeding fellow PN member Porfirio Lobo for a four-year term.
He also urged the society to collaborate with authorities, but acknowledged that the fear of reprisal prevented such cooperation, adding "we must develop a culture of safely denouncing (crime)."
He also called on the region to vigorously fight drug trafficking and the shipment of drugs to the U.S. from South America.
"Some 80 percent of the drugs that head north pass through here, leaving us with a trail of death," said Hernandez.
"It's not fair that for the U.S. drugs are only a matter of health and for us they are a matter of death," he noted, calling on U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to accept their responsibility for the drug scourge.
To the country's business sector, he extended a "friendly hand" to continue constructing a better Honduras.
On the country's considerable wealth gap which sees some 70 percent of the population living in poverty, Hernandez said "we cannot continue being indifferent to injustice in Honduras," proposing comprehensive education reform, a regional policy in favor of immigrants and a restructuring of the state apparatus to make it more effective.
Hernandez also proposed a plan, beginning Tuesday, to generate 25,000 jobs in 2014, and 100,000 by the end of his term, as part of a program called "with a job, you live better."
The new president reissued a call for a Great National Pact that would include all sectors, regardless of political ideology.
Hernandez's presidential term will end on Jan. 27, 2018.