Sixty-five police officers were slain in Honduras in 2013, National Police Director Ramon Sabillon said Tuesday.

The murdered agents were victims of the criminal violence that afflicts the Central American country and takes an average of 20 lives every day, Sabillon told reporters in Tegucigalpa.

He said that under the new government led by Juan Orlando Hernandez, who took office on Monday, the National Police have launched Operation Morazan.

The operation, named for independence hero Francisco Morazan, is being carried out with the assistance of the Attorney General's Office and the judiciary to guarantee respect for a suspect's human rights, Sabillon said.

The spokesman for Operation Morazan, Santos Nolasco, said the army is reinforcing the National Police with some 5,000 men.

He added that the number of troops supporting security operations could be increased "as needs require."

Operation Morazan follows Operation Libertad, launched by Hernandez's predecessor and National Party colleague, Porfirio Lobo, who left office without keeping his only two campaign promises: jobs and security.

The new president repeated at his inauguration several of his campaign promises, one of which was a vow to reduce the crime and violence that have made Honduras one of the most dangerous countries in the world. EFE