DEA Agents Helped Kill Two Pregnant Women in Honduras Last Week

Drug Enforcement Administration agents working with members of the Honduran military were involved in the killing of two pregnant women and two men, all of them innocent, last friday. Honduras Weekly has more details:

The deceased victims included two young men, Emerson Martínez and Chalo Brock Wood, and two women, Candelaria Tratt Nelson and Juana Banegas -- both of whom were pregnant. According to Congressman Wood Grawell Maylo of the department of Gracias a Dios and the Mayor of Ahuas, Lucio Baquedano, the attack was carried out in the early morning by a helicopter unit consisting of Honduran police and members of the United Stated Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). They said that the unit mistook the targeted boat for another boat that was being used by drug traffickers.

El Tiempo reported that the two boats had passed each other in the early morning at about the time that the motorboat with the drug traffickers was being pursued by the helicopter. Mr. Baquedano said, "The boat with the narcos did not have a light, while the one with the passengers did have a light... which made it a visible target for the agents who were firing from the helicopter." He said that the drug traffickers abandoned their boat and escaped up the coast in the direction of El Patuca.

The Associated Press filed a much different report, in which a DEA spokesperson claims the agents were fired upon first, and that only Honduran law enforcement returned fire:

U.S. government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because their statements had not been authorized, said Honduran law enforcement did not initiate the shooting, but rather returned fire after being attacked. The officials said the DEA agents did not fire.

When asked about the shooting, U.S. Embassy official Matthias Mitman in Tegucigalpa provided a written statement saying that “the U.S. assisted Honduran forces with logistical support in this operation” as part of efforts to fight narcotics trafficking.

The shooting took place on the Patuca River in northeastern Honduras in a region known as Gracias a Dios. National newspapers in Honduras quoted local officials as saying the victims were diving for lobster and shellfish.

The State Department says 79 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights leaving South America first land in Honduras, and the U.S .has been working with the Honduran military to stop the drug dealers.

Nowhere does the AP mention that two of the boat passengers were pregnant women. The news agency does not even name them. Instead, it goes on for several paragraphs about the DEA's interdiction success, and how much more work there is to do. 

The New York Times has more on the backlash against the DEA's Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Teams.

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  • sloopyinca||

    Reading this was not the way I wanted to start my day. Instead of breakfast, I think I'll go throw up now.

    Oh, "and nothing else happened."

  • mr simple||

    Nowhere does the AP mention that two of the boat passengers were pregnant women. The news agency does not even name them. Instead, it goes on for several paragraphs about the DEA's interdiction success, and how much more work there is to do.

    But if they report honestly on the government they won't get all their cool exclusives and carefully leaked stories. Besides drugs are bad and collateral damage is a regrettable necessity. Or something.

  • ||

    The fact that anyone actually referred to this instance as a success makes me want to throw up.

  • tarran||

    I think it is time for us to shun DEA agents Amish style.

  • shamalam||

    Threadjack:

    Should pot be legal? A poll of cops done by PoliceOne has some surprising results. Dunphy would be proud:

    http://www.policeone.com/chief.....speak-out/

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Some of the comments are sensible, but the lack of logic from the anti-legalization crowd is amazing.

    Like:

    Oh HE LL no ! just another way for the DTO's south of the Border to infest the USA. They make millions off of us and kill those who get in their way. What next? bring cocaine back? It's illegal for a reason.

    Or

    Anyone who thinks that legalizing marijuana will reduce any of the problems law enforcement encounters with it needs to look at the ever increasing number of incidents stemming from legal prescription drugs!

  • shamalam||

    Yeah, the logic of the "anti" is always a bit stunning.

    The bigger point, though, is that support for legalization of cannabis is growing (44% according to this poll) even amongst cops!

    It is only a matter of time before the war on pot (users) does a 180.

  • Zeb||

    It certainly is horrible an unacceptable that innocent people were killed here. But I find it nearly as fucked up that anyone would find it remotely OK to shoot at people simply because they are trying to transport contraband. The fact that they shot the wrong people is just a cherry on top.

  • Raston Bot||

    the DEA claims the pregnant women fired on them first.

  • perlhaqr||

    Well, it almost makes sense, if "first" really means "second", and if "fired upon" means "shot body parts at them after being blown up".

  • ||

    Eggs and omelets. If we're going to continue to enjoy success in this fight, then we have to learn to live with collateral damage. Tragic, unavoidable, justifiable.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    It would be an interesting social experiment to see how foreign agents would fare were they killing 'suspected' dealers on the rivers and streets of America.

    I'm willing to be the public would be infinitely outraged... YET, our agents killing suspected dealers on rivers and streets in other countries doesn't even merit a glance by the average American klutz- in fact the desperately whorish media outlets continually scribble articles always favorable of American law enforcement.

    It's no wonder reporters are viewed as marshmallow-brained regurgitators anymore.

  • wareagle||

    YET, our agents killing suspected dealers on rivers and streets in other countries doesn't even merit a glance by the average American klutz

    Either "we're Americans; fuck you, that's why" OR

    It's okay when we do it.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    FUCK Amerika!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    He said that the drug traffickers abandoned their boat and escaped up the coast in the direction of El Patuca

    See? The operation was a success!

  • wareagle||

    this story has it all wrong: the four people were killed as part of a new anti-illegal immigration plan the DEA has hatched. It entails going to countries even further south than Mexico to prevent those who might even be thinking about moving north.
    When you umbrella incidents under the general heading of "war on drugs", you can do damn near anything.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And they were even bringing their anchor babies with them. How devious.

  • Griffin3||

    Wouldn't that be considered an act of war? Or do you have to assassinate someone important, like a diplomat or a congressional person?

  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand||

    Or do you have to assassinate someone important, like a diplomat or a congressional person?

    I think we all know the answer to that question.

  • R C Dean||

    So, according to the socons who are the biggest supporters of this sort of killing, the actual body count, including preborn persons, was at least six.

  • Lord Humungus||

    only two? I expect better from our "distinguished" agents!

  • shamalam||

    Read your novella, Headline... Not bad. Thanks.

  • ||

    See? Our government can be helpful once in a while.

  • T||

    Stupid or evil? Ask the question.

  • db||

    From wrong-door raids to wrong-boat helicopter attacks. Can't wait for domestic drones to make this all better.

  • ||

    The operation is part of the Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST) program established under President George. W. Bush in response to drug trafficking associated with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The program is reportedly overseen by former Navy SEAL Richard Dobrich. The Pentagon provides most of the training, equipment, and transport for the DEA squads.

    Since the War on Terror and the War on Drugs have combined, can we add in the War on Obesity and drop Special Forces into school zones and eliminate some fat-ass 3rd graders?

  • SugarFree||

    Now one told them to get pregnant. No one told them to get in a boat. No one told them to let bullets riddle their bodies. They made their choices.

    The law is the law, people.

  • ||

    Well, yeah can't have spell death without DEA.

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