Chavez proposes shooting down suspect drug planes

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2011 11:06 PM
Chavez proposes shooting down suspect drug planes

President Hugo Chavez is proposing that Venezuela's legislators consider allowing the shooting down of suspected drug-trafficking planes that ignore orders to land.

Chavez said in a televized speech Thursday that such a threat would discourage cartels from flying drugs over Venezuela.

He says Venezuelan military aircraft sometimes chase planes suspected of transporting drugs, but pilots of the planes ignore orders to land and just keep going.

Venezuela lies next to Colombia and has become an important route for traffickers moving cocaine to Europe and the United States.

U.S. officials criticize Venezuela's anti-drug efforts as insufficient. Chavez says his government is doing all in its power.