US Drug Enforcement Agency kills another suspected drug runner in Honduras

The DEA shot an alleged drug runner in Honduras – the second since June – but if you rely on Honduran media, you may not have known that, writes a guest blogger.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog. The views expressed are the author's own.

The DEA has shot to death another alleged drug runner in Honduras, the second this month. The latest incident happened a week ago.
 
If you live in Honduras and rely on the Honduran media, you probably didn't know that until now.
 
On July 3 a small plane crashed or was forced down (depending on the news source) near Catacamas in Olancho.  In the plane were 954 kilograms of cocaine.  The original Honduran press reports stated that one pilot, a Brazilian, was badly injured in the crash and surrendered to the police and DEA agents present. The other pilot, also Brazilian, was said to have been killed in the crash. The news of the two Brazilians was reported to their embassy according to statements by the Honduran police spokesperson.

Except that the pilot wasn't killed in the crash.
 
According to DEA spokesperson Dawn Dearden, two DEA agents shot the second Brazilian when he refused to surrender "and made a threatening gesture."  He died from his wounds. 
 
The New York Times coverage notes that "[Honduran authorities] did not disclose that the pilot had been shot by American agents." 
 
None of the press reports tell us the context in which the DEA spokesperson revealed DEA responsibility for the death of this suspect, or why it was revealed.
 
The DEA agents in question are members of a FAST team deployed in Honduras to help Honduran authorities stop drugs before they get to the United States.  Their rules of engagement allow them to fire on suspects if they are threatened or fired on. 
 
This is the second person they've killed in Honduras.

There will be no inquiry.
 
It's understandable that Honduran authorities kept quiet about DEA responsibility for shooting the suspect, given Honduran reactions to DEA agent participation in the Ahuas shootings of 4 people, and their killing of another suspect in Olancho in June.

– Russell Sheptak, the co-author of the blog Honduras Culture and Politics, specializes in the study of colonial history and economic anthropology in this little-reported corner of Central America.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.