HomeNewsBriefUS Agents Kill 2nd Honduran Drug Suspect in a Month
BRIEF

US Agents Kill 2nd Honduran Drug Suspect in a Month

HONDURAS / 19 JUL 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

US anti-drug agents in Honduras have reported shooting a second suspected drug trafficker in less than a month, placing a spotlight on the DEA's increasingly aggressive role in the country.

The shooting resulted from a July 3 anti-drug operation by Honduran authorities with assistance from embedded Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) personnel, which a DEA spokeswoman called "successful." In the operation, a suspected pilot of a crashed drug plane was fatally wounded when he resisted arrest by Honduran and US authorities, making a "threatening gesture," DEA spokeswoman Barbara Carreno told InSight Crime.

The plane had crashed south of Catacamas, eastern Honduras (see map) following pursuit by government aircraft. Honduran authorities found 900 kilograms of cocaine at the scene, and took the plane's other pilot, who was wounded in the crash, into custody. Carreno said both pilots received medical care, and that Honduran National Police, crime scene technicians, and Public Ministry prosecutors were investigating the shooting.

Following the incident, Honduran authorities said the crashed plane was bound from Colombia, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

This was the second incident of its kind in Honduras in less than a month. US agents recently killed another suspected trafficker who reportedly reached for a holstered firearm during another drug plane bust. Carreno said that DEA agents operating in Honduras are governed by strict procedures regarding the use of force.

InSight Crime Analysis

A Center for Economic Policy Research senior associate said the incident reflected a lack of accountability and that it appeared there had been no real inquiry, according to the AP. In response, Carreno told InSight Crime that criticism was unfounded, reiterating that Honduran authorities were investigating the incident.

Even if the Honduran investigation is indeed a comprehensive inquiry, the risk remains that the attention surrounding the DEA's activities in Honduras could provoke more opposition to the US agency's activities inside the country. And on the DEA's part, further constraining the agency's rules of engagement in Honduras could jeopardize law enforcement efforts.

And Honduras is one place where more aggressive law enforcement is sorely needed. According to a report by El Heraldo, statistics from the National Commission for Human Rights (Conadeh) show an estimated 89 percent of drug flights from South America now pass through Honduras, up from an estimated 26 percent in 2007. Given that the country has become a major waypoint for US-bound drugs, the DEA's increased involvement in confronting drug flights face-to-face with Honduran security personnel is perhaps inevitable.


View InSight Map - DEA Anti-Drug Operation outside Catacamas, Honduras in a larger map

 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

EXTRADITION / 17 OCT 2016

The US government’s recent accusations against several alleged drug traffickers, among them military officials, have placed Honduras’ President Juan Orlando…

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 APR 2014

Since taking over in 2010, Guatemala's Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz has waged a revolution from inside one of…

EXTRADITION / 8 OCT 2014

Honduras' president has claimed that the recent, unprecedented captures of major drug traffickers is "just the beginning" of the country's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…