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Honduras drug raid: The State Department has some explaining to do

May 18, 2012|By Sandra Hernandez
  • Police drug squad guards at least 400 kilos of cocaine seized in La Mosquitia, on the Caribbean coast of Honduras.
Police drug squad guards at least 400 kilos of cocaine seized in La Mosquitia,… (Orlando Sierra /AFP/ Getty…)

The controversy surrounding a May 11 predawn anti-drug operation in Honduras that left four people dead is growing. And so are question about the role of American forces in that firefight. U.S. counter-narcotics efforts in Honduras now include special U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Times has reported.

The DEA’s role in the May 11 operation has come under scrutiny after differing accounts emerged in recent days. American and Honduran officials have said DEA agents were aboard a helicopter that was pursuing a canoe carrying drug traffickers. The U.S. agents were there only in an advisory role. And both countries have said DEA agents never fired a shot. Rather, it was Honduran security forces that shot after coming under fire. The problem is the mayor of the town where the operation took place offers a different account, telling reporters that the helicopter shot at a a second canoe that carried four people, including two pregnant women, who had no ties to drug smugglers.

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