DEA head: A thousand dead children means we're winning war on ...
www.salon.com/2011/04/15/dea_children/15 Apr 2011 – “It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,” said Michele Leonhart, head of ...
Don't expect that Titan Corp cocaine trafficking and Iraq Abu Graib connected DEA Michele Leonhart's
DEA has learned a lesson after her San Diego DEA goons almost murdered a San Diego engineering student Daniel Chong a short whille ago,except that as in the Abu Graib case of Titan always go after the weak politically and economically as in the case of the DEA'S recent massacre of innocent Hondurans.Bad enough that the CNN and U.S.staged coup of 2009 that overthrew the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya in 2009.Paradoxical that this same coup of 2009 brought an end to birth control access for women in Honduras and now thanks to the added 'liberties' that coup has brought for U.S.DEA fascists under Barack Obama and Michele Leonhart to act with complete impunity and immiunity from prosecution,innocent pregnant women are gunned down by the DEA who should be facing murder charges,not just being asked by the locals to please leave !
Michele Leonhart, whose career in the DEA dates to the time when U.S.trained contras were freely selling cocaine in the poor black ghettos of Los Angeles that her fellow Israelis and the CIA were bringing in from Honduras and Central America at that time,continues this legacy with her connections to San Diego Level 3 Titan Corp criminals whose planes she flies on even knolwing that it was their DC-9 - not hUGO cHAVEZ dc-9 - as she and DEA lyinygly claim,that was captutred with 5.5 tons of cocaine on board by the Mexican army in April 2006 in Ciudad Del Carmen,Campeche,Mexico ! And the plane itself was bought with money defrauded from American investors in the Skyway Communications penny stock fraud out of Lakeland,Florida and the sick white bitch who claims she a 'Semite',Michele Leonhart and teppson of Indonesian murderer Lolo Soetoro,aka Barack Obama or Barry Soetoro both know this !
Rattling gunfire, roaring helicopters: Hunt for trafficker terrorizes ...
Washington Post - 2 hours ago
The DEA has repeatedly said its agents on the mission, which included two U.S. helicopters, acted only in an advisory role to their Honduran ...
Hunt for trafficker terrorizes Honduran villagers
AHUAS, Honduras (AP) — A fearsome rattle of gunfire from the sky. The roar of helicopters descending on a tiny, Honduran town. And the sound of commandos speaking in English as they battered down doors and detained locals in the hunt for a drug trafficker.
Villagers say the drug bust that left four passengers of a riverboat dead after helicopters mistakenly fired on civilians continued into the predawn hours when commandos, including some they think were Americans, raided their town.
Heavily armed Honduran police in at least two helicopters landed and took off numerous times while agents searched homes and detained several people in the village on the banks of a river deep in Honduras' Mosquitia region, named for the Miskito Indians. In the end, enraged residents torched the home of the town's suspected drug trafficker in retaliation for the fatalities on the river.
One chopper landed in front of Hilaria Zavala's home at about 3 a.m. and the six men who got out kicked down her door. She said a "gringo" threw her husband on the ground and put a gun to his head demanding to know about a trafficker named "El Renco."
"They kept him that way for two hours," said Zavala, who owns a market near the main pier in Ahuas. "They asked if he was El Renco, if he worked for El Renco, if the stuff belonged to El Renco. My husband said he had nothing to do with it."
The shooting started after midnight, when Honduran national police tracking a cocaine shipment after it had been unloaded from a plane and onto a boat near the village were fired upon, authorities say. The officers returned fire, mistakenly shooting at a passenger boat, killing four people and wounding four more.
Celin Eriksson 17, whose cousin Haskel Tom Brooks Wood, 14, died in the boat, was waiting on the dock for his family before the shooting when he saw a white truck and about 50 men coming from Ahuas. He hid because he knew they were traffickers, but saw them load bundles into a boat. When the helicopters appeared, the men ran. He said he heard no gunshots coming from the ground. The boat with bundles went drifting by itself down the river.
The commandos who came off the helicopter handcuffed him, Celin said, and put a gun to his head. Some spoke to him in English, which he also speaks.
"If you don't talk we'll kill you," the boy said he was told. "Where is El Renco? Where is the merchandise?"
He said they made him walk along the river bank with them to find the boat with the bundles. Then they left him, handcuffed. He found a neighbor who broke the plastic handcuffs with a machete and saved them to prove to authorities that he had been detained by commandos.
The May 11 shooting and subsequent raid raises questions about what role, if any, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who were on the helicopters played in the events described by villagers. The DEA has repeatedly said its agents on the mission, which included two U.S. helicopters, acted only in an advisory role to their Honduran National Police counterparts and did not use their weapons.
DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden, when asked to respond to the villagers' story, said Monday night that there were no DEA personnel in the village.
The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa referred all questions about the operation to Honduran authorities. The State Department said last week that the helicopters used in the operation were piloted by Guatemalan soldiers and contract pilots who are temporarily deployed to Honduras. It did not identify the contractors' nationalities.
Jose Ruiz, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the U.S. military in Honduras, said there were no American troops there.
"We can confirm there were no U.S. military personnel or U.S. military assets involved in anyway. Our joint task force occasionally supports DEA, but they had no personnel or equipment in that particular mission," Ruiz said.
Honduran Security Ministry spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia said he had no information about the raid reported by residents.
Several villagers, however, told The Associated Press that some of the masked agents were gringos.
"They spoke in English among themselves and on the radios," said Zavala, whose husband was held at gunpoint. "They had brought a computer and they put in the names of everyone and sought identification for everyone."
On the shore near the main pier for Ahuas, Sandra Madrid cowered in her home from the bursts of gunfire coming from overhead. The manager of the village's main river transportation company said it lasted 15 minutes. "I've never seen a machine like that," Madrid said of the helicopter. "I've never seen a shootout like that."
About an hour later, the machines landed in her front yard. Neighbor Mariano Uitol said about 40 men in total got out. "They told everyone to get inside and don't anyone leave."
The commandos seized a neighbor's boat and gasoline to travel down the river, Madrid said, taking Hilaria Zavala's teenage nephew to guide them. He had been waiting on the dock for his mother in the shot-up passenger boat.
Witnesses said the agents made several trips carrying sacks and loading them onto the helicopters that took off and landed repeatedly over the next two hours.
An investigation by Honduran military based in nearby Puerto Lempira concluded that the agents fired on the civilians by accident, said Col. Ronald Rivera Amador, commander of the Honduran Joint Military Task Force-Paz Garcia.
He said the task force conducted only part of the investigation and sent its findings to the Joint Task Force Gen. Rene Osorio. Mejia said a Honduran federal prosecutor is leading the investigation.
The isolated savannah and jungle region of northern Honduras has been a drug-running area for decades. But cocaine shipments increased dramatically in the last few years as authorities cracked down in Mexico and other parts of the main drug routes from South America to the United States. The U.S. State Department says 79 percent of all cocaine smuggling flights leaving South America land in Honduras.
Ahuas Mayor Lucio Baquedano, who said all the shooting victims were innocents, said that there is a drug trafficking cell in his town and that the number of clandestine landing strips is not only increasing, but getting closer to populated areas and putting more uninvolved people at risk.
He said the traffickers who used to operate in more isolated spots now seek shorter routes to the river, where boats take the illicit cargo to the Caribbean coast.
The strip where the agents detected a landing on May 11 is less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the village, Baquedano said.
"The cell that operates in town is very powerful and up to now has had no opposition," he said, adding that he can't stop them. "We had meetings and I told them that the landing strips shouldn't be so close to town. Now we know the consequences when the strips are close to people."
Members of the U.S. Congress and human rights groups have been ramping up their criticism of U.S. spending in this small Central American country of 8 million people, which has one of the highest murder rates in the world and alarmingly low conviction rates.
The State Department is required to vet the Honduran National Police to make sure they have not committed gross human rights violations, or it can withhold U.S. assistance. It has not been withheld, despite a demand from 87 members of Congress to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a year ago asking for further investigation.
The State Department's most recent human rights report on Honduras is a scathing 18 pages that describe unlawful killings by police and government agents.
In the region surrounded Ahuas, impoverished families earn money by helping load and unload cocaine, a well-known problem noted by government officials from President Porfirio Lobo to the local police chief, Filiberto Pravia Rodriguez.
Pravia said he heard the helicopters in the middle of the night but did not go out until soldiers knocked at his door about 5:30 a.m. He and a judge tried to go to the river, where soldiers said there were two bodies in the water, but they were met by an angry crowd waving machetes and clubs and carrying cans of gasoline.
"I was lucky I could run," he said.
Several hours later, the crowd turned its wrath on the home reportedly owned by El Renco. They burned his home and those of three of his friends.
"The family and friends of the victims burned the homes because of the narcos," Zavala said. "This whole mess was their fault ... because of them, we all had to pay."
Associated Press writer Alberto Arce reported this story in Ahuas and Katherine Corcoran reported from Tegucigalpa. AP writers Matthew Lee in Washington and Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz, California, contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Anger Rises After Killings in U.S.-Honduras Drug Sweep
MEXICO CITY — Residents of the isolated Mosquito Coast of Honduras have burned down government buildings and are demanding that American drug agents leave the area immediately, intensifying a dispute over whether an antidrug operation there last week left four innocent people dead, including two pregnant women.
Lucio Baquedano, the mayor of Ahuas, the town where the operation occurred, said Thursday in an interview that residents rioted in the streets after learning that he and others had accused the Honduran police and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration of killing four people who had been fishing.
American and Honduran security officials dispute that account, saying that two traffickers were killed during an operation that yielded 1,000 pounds of cocaine. And on Thursday, American officials also asserted that, in a gun battle that took place during the seizure operation in the early morning of May 11, no Americans had fired weapons, only the Honduran police on the ground and a Honduran door gunner in a helicopter.
But with the details still murky — and in a region where American power has been viewed with skepticism since the cold war — Honduran officials and human rights organizations have begun calling for an investigation that could redefine, or limit, what has become an increasingly active American role in fighting drug smuggling through the region.
“It is critical that both Honduran and U.S. authorities ensure that the killings are thoroughly investigated to determine whether the use of lethal force was justified,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “If evidence demonstrates that security forces violated international standards, they must be held accountable.”
Some Honduran analysts have said they are not surprised by the dispute, taking it as a reflection of the challenge Honduras faces in fighting organized crime.
“The struggle against drug trafficking and organized crime is complicated, especially when it involves responsibilities shared between two countries,” said Victor Meza, the interior minister under Manuel Zelaya, the president ousted in a 2009 coup. “Mexico is a notorious example.”
For Honduras, a small, poor country with one of the world’s highest murder rates, the challenge is intensified by the local terrain. The area where the shooting occurred is a known trafficking route accessible from nearby cities only by plane or boat. It is an area dominated by indigenous tribes and airstrips in sections of cleared jungle — airstrips seen by American surveillance as being used as a transfer point for cocaine moving from Venezuela or Colombia to Mexico, and then to the United States.
By one American government estimate, 79 percent of all cocaine shipped to the United States passes through Honduras.
Mr. Baquedano did not deny the presence of drug smugglers, but said that the May 11 operation was a case of mistaken identity. There were two canoes in a river, he said, one carrying drug traffickers, the other innocent residents, and the gunfire from a helicopter overhead tore into the latter. The error, he said, occurred because the traffickers’ boat was unlighted, while the fishing canoe had a light on.
“These innocent residents were not involved in the drug problem,” Mr. Baquedano said.
Leaders of local indigenous groups also issued a statement saying, “For centuries we have been a peaceful people who live in harmony with nature, but today we declared these Americans to be persona non grata in our territory.”
While acknowledging that the circumstances of a middle-of-the-night firefight are murky, an American official briefed on the matter cast doubt on the local account. The official said that the operation began with a report from Colombian intelligence of an inbound plane. An American surveillance plane captured video of the plane landing in a small field at 1:46 a.m. last Friday and about 30 men unloading cocaine bales and putting them on a truck, which drove to a nearby river.
Four helicopters, owned by the State Department but flown by Guatemalans, carried a strike force of Honduran counternarcotics police officers from an American-built base to the river, where they landed and seized a boat on which the cocaine — which weighed more than 1,000 pounds — had been loaded. They also seized an M-4 assault rifle and ammunition. As the helicopters approached, men who were loading the boat fled, the official said.
At 2:40 a.m., as the government forces were still on the ground, a second boat approached and began to fire, the official said. The Honduran police unit returned fire and was supported by the door gunner of at least one of the helicopters. After a brief firefight, the shooting stopped and the second boat is said to have withdrawn.
The official also expressed doubts that villagers would be out fishing in the middle of the night, near where helicopters had landed an hour or so earlier. The official added that the large number of people seen in surveillance video unloading the plane showed that many members of the impoverished community of Ahuas were involved in drug trafficking.
“There is nothing in the local village that was unknown, a surprise or a mystery about this,” the official said. “What happened was that, for the first time in the history of Ahuas, Honduran law enforcement interfered with narcotics smuggling.”
The country of 8 million people is also reeling from a fatal shooting by an anti-drug police helicopter attack that killed innocent riverboat passengers May during a U.S.-backed mission tracking a cocaine shipment in Honduras' northern region that is home to the Miskito Indians. The police, who were operating in U.S. helicopters with DEA advisers on board, said they were shot at first and their return fire killed four civilians and wounded four others.
Honduran police units working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were specially vetted, the State Department said.
The U.S. can withhold foreign assistance to countries if there is there is evidence of gross human rights violations by police or security forces. No such aid is being withheld from Honduras, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday.
Former Security Minister Oscar Alvarez called the national police "air traffic controllers" for the drug traffickers before he resigned last fall and said he tried to clean up the force but didn't have support. He has since left the country.