Killing in Honduras: Is DEA Overstepping Its Bounds?

DEA says strategy is working, human rights groups not so sure
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2012 9:06 AM CDT
Killing in Honduras: Is DEA Overstepping Its Bounds?
A Honduras national policeman sits on packages of cocaine that were seized from the crashed plane.   (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

The Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed that its agents shot a suspected drug pilot dead in Honduras last week, the AP reports. An agency spokeswoman says that a twin-engine plane carrying cocaine from Colombia crashed in eastern Honduras while being pursued by government aircraft. One pilot was injured in the crash and arrested; the other was shot after he apparently refused to surrender and made a threatening gesture toward agents. The agency says the operation, which also involved Honduran police, resulted in the seizure of nearly a ton of cocaine.

This is the second time in the space of a few weeks that DEA agents have killed someone in the Central American country. And while the agency says its aggressive new enforcement strategy is a success, human rights groups are worried. "It looks like an escalation with a sense of lack of accountability and overstepping their boundaries in Honduras," a senior associate with the Center for Economic and Policy Research says. "We are just getting the DEA account of events and it looks like there is no real inquiry." (Read more Honduras stories.)

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