TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent shot and killed a suspected trafficker during a sting operation in northeastern Honduras, a U.S. embassy spokesman in the central American nation said on Sunday.
“During the operation, a DEA agent fired on a suspected drug dealer when he tried to use his weapon. The agent protected his own life and his team‘s. The alleged dealer died,” embassy spokesman Stephen Posivak said.
A group of around 40 people allegedly were unloading drugs from a small aircraft when the operation and killing occurred.
The incident, which occurred on Saturday, was the second recent intervention by DEA agents in Honduras. The nationality of the victim was not disclosed.
Officials said about 360 kilos of cocaine were seized during the operation, which followed another raid in mid-May that involved DEA agents and Honduran security forces. Four Hondurans were killed during that incident.
Honduras often serves as a stop over for drugs being trafficked, mostly by Mexican cartels, from South America into the United States. It has the highest murder rate in the world, according to U.N. data.
DEA agents assist police, military and army forces from Honduras in the area as they hunt for traffickers.
Local authorities have estimated that more than 22 tonnes of cocaine were seized in 2011 in Honduras.
Reporting By Gustavo Palencia; Editing by Paul Simao