WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report on the U.S. drug enforcement strategy in Honduras (all times local):
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy says a watchdog report about a series of deadly encounters during an aggressive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operation in Honduras raises questions about whether the incidents are isolated.
Leahy says he is disturbed by the report's finding that the DEA and State Department misled Congress, the public and Justice Department officials about the 2012 program known as Operation Anvil. The Justice and State department inspectors general issued a report Wednesday detailing sweeping problems with the effort.
Democrat Leahy calls the report a "wholesale indictment" of DEA and Honduran police for botched operations that in one case caused civilian deaths.
Leahy says the review "unmasks egregious events and conduct, as well as the subsequent efforts to hide the truth about what happened."
Government watchdogs say the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration misled Congress about an aggressive drug enforcement strategy that led to a series of deadly confrontations involving agents in Honduras.
In a report released Wednesday, inspectors general for the Justice and State Departments found sweeping problems with the 2012 operation. They say the agency failed to fully investigate it and gave inaccurate information to Congress.
The effort involved State Department helicopters and DEA agents working with Honduran police to intercept cocaine flights.
The watchdogs looked at three incidents between May and July of 2012. Those included a raid that killed four people and wounded four others, whom locals said were innocent civilians traveling the river at night.
The DEA says it has made changes, and the team no longer operates overseas.