TEGUCIGALPA — A US agent working with Honduran police fatally shot a Brazilian national last week during the seizure of nearly 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds) of cocaine, US officials said Monday.
Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were involved in the July 3 operation in eastern Honduras, where a small plane carrying the cocaine crashed south of Catacamas, the State Department said in a statement.
One of the two pilots was injured in the crash and arrested, the statement said, adding that the other “ignored orders to surrender and was shot after making a threatening gesture.” He later died of his injuries.
The State Department would only say that two DEA agents were at the scene, but a spokesman for the US embassy in Tegucigalpa admitted one of those agents had shot the pilot.
The spokesman, Stephen Posivak, also said the suspected trafficker who died was a Brazilian national.
The incident marked the second time that the United States had admitted that one of its agents killed a suspected trafficker in Honduras. On June 22, a US agent shot a Honduran national who died of his injuries.
Around 90 percent of the cocaine that arrives in the United States passes through Central America and Mexico.
DEA agents are embedded with Honduran security forces in an effort to stem the flow of narcotics into the United States.