Honduras: Air Force authorized to down suspected drug planes
By Dialogo January 21, 2014
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras’ Congress has passed a law authorizing the Air Force to shoot down unidentified planes suspected of carrying drugs over the Central American country, legislators said.
The legislature voted overwhelmingly on the night of Jan. 17 to pass the “Air Space Protection Law” even though Honduras is a signatory of an international treaty that forbids downing of civilian aircraft, Congressional Vice President Marvin Ponce said.
Ponce said the law authorizes planes to be shot down if they fail to file flight plans or abide by civil aviation rules.
Defense Minister Marlon Pascua, in an interview with the newspaper La Tribuna, said Honduran authorities have cut the movement of drugs through its territory by 74% since mid-2010.
[AFP (Honduras), 18/01/2014; El Heraldo (Honduras), 19/01/2014; La Tribuna (Honduras), 18/01/2014]