Honduras Congress Approves Shooting Down Suspected Drug Planes

Honduras Congress on Friday approved legislation allowing the government to shoot down planes suspected of trafficking illegal drugs.

Abandoned Plane in Utila, Honduras used for Drug Trafficking

Abandoned Plane in Utila, Honduras used for Drug Trafficking

The legislation authorizes progressive use of force to make unidentified aircraft land. Only the country’s defense minister can order that a plane be shot down.

Most of the cocaine destined for the United States moves though Honduras, where Mexican drug gangs have moved in as they take increasing control over the drug trade from Colombian traffickers.

The Honduran military shot down two small planes in 2012 that were suspected of carrying drugs. The incident pushed the United States to suspend anti-drug radar support to Honduran authorities for about three months.

National Party Presidential Candidate Juan Hernandez was elected president last November after promising a tough militarized response to drug gang violence.

Honduran Congress has said it will buy three radar systems from Israel that it can use to track planes suspected of carrying illegal drugs.

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