DEA Lied to Congress About Deadly Raid That Killed Four Hondurans, Government Report Says
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 24/05/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20805
The Drug Enforcement Administration repeatedly lied to Congress about fatal shooting incidents in Honduras, including the killing of four civilians during a DEA-led operation, according to a devastating 424-page report released today by the inspectors general for the State and Justice departments.
The report depicts how the DEA withheld information from the U.S. ambassador in Honduras, passed incorrect information up the chain of command, repeatedly misrepresented the U.S. role as an adviser in what was actually a U.S.-led operation, recruited an informant to back up the DEAs version of events and then stuck by the informants story despite its inconsistent and contradictory accounts. The DEA told Congress that its informant had passed a polygraph test, but the report concludes that test was undocumented and largely useless.
Most importantly, the report states that the DEA falsely characterized the deaths of four Hondurans as a shootout with drug traffickers despite proof on video that DEA-led forces fired on unarmed civilians. The dead were traveling on a passenger boat to a town called Ahuas, on the remote Mosquito Coast. Almost immediately, the mayor of Ahuas and other Honduran officials protested that the dead were innocent; the DEA maintained that its forces had been fired upon by drug traffickers. Today, more than five years later, the report confirms that the people of Ahuas were telling the truth. There was no crossfire. It was a DEA agent who ordered a helicopter gunner to open fire on the passenger boat. The four dead Hondurans Emerson Martínez, Candelaria Trapp, Hasked Brooks Wood, and Juana Jackson posed no threat. The DEA gave a grossly inaccurate depiction of its own operations to Congress and let that account stand uncorrected.