War on Drugs — 18 May 2012

 

The international organization Human Rights Watch insisted Thursday that the authorities in Honduras and the United States clarify the circumstances in which four people were killed during a joint military operation in La Mosquito.

“The US and Honduran authorities must ensure that they will launch an impartial and exhaustive investigation into the joint operation against drug traffickers in Mosquita region of Honduras”, said the organization in Washington.

Human Rights Watch extolled both governments to establish during their investigation whether the use of lethal force during the police and militaryaction was justified.

“It is fundamental that the honduran and us authorities adopt measures to ensure that these deaths will be investigated rigourously”, underlined José Miguel Vivanco, director of human rights watch for the americas.

In the case that the evidence shows that the security forced violated international standards, “then we must respond to the situation”, he added.

Worldwide regulations allows the use of lethal force on the part of the public security official only in the narrow case in which it is to protect a life, to defend one’s self, or to defend a third party who is in imminent danger of death of serious injury or when less extreme means would not be sufficient.

Contradictory accounts have been given of the events of may 11 in the community of Ahuás and Patuca, in the department of Gracias a Dios, in the east of Honduras.

The director of the National Police, Ricardo Ramírez del Cid, said that during the operation in which a shipment of cocaine was seized, the helicopter crew opened fire after being fired upon from men on the ground.

The US Embassy in Honduras said the same thing while confirmation the participation of DEA agents in the operation.

However, the mayor of Ahuas, Vaquedano Lucio said that “innocent people unrelated to the problem of drugs being transported in an ordinary fishing boat … were machine gunned from the air.”

Because of the incident, the people in La Mosquitia are demanding that the DEA agents leave the area.

 

date: 17 May 2012

translated from: http://www.elheraldo.hn/Secciones-Principales/Pais/Human-Rights-Watch-pide-investigacion-exhaustiva-sobre-operativo-en-La-Mosquitia

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