President Bush has decided
to restart a controversial anti-drug program in which US officials aid
the Colombian and Peruvian militaries in identifying, tracking and blowing
out of the sky suspected drug-running planes in northern South America.
That program was suspended last year after CIA employees and the Peruvian
Air Force mistakenly shot down a civilian aircraft over the Amazon, killing
a US missionary and her infant child.
Although the shoot-down policy
violated international civil aviation regulations and amounted to extrajudicial
execution of unwary pilots without trial, it had been in place throughout
the 1990s, except for a short period during the Clinton administration
when US officials suspended the program long enough to rewrite US law so
that US officials would not face potential international criminal or civil
charges for attacking civilian aircraft.
According to the New York
Times, Bush will resume the program shortly, but the CIA will no longer
be involved. Instead, the State Department and the Pentagon will
handle the liaison with first Peruvian and then Colombian military officials.
Both Peru and Colombia have clamored loudly for the reinstatement of the
shoot-down program, claiming it is necessary to suppress the cocaine traffic.
-- END --
Issue #244, 7/5/02
Bolivian Voters Tell US to Butt Out: Coca Grower Leader Morales Emerges as Presidential Kingmaker | Unitarian Drug Stand Draws Favorable Response from West Virginia Paper | British Columbia Marijuana Activists Celebrate 4th of July by Burning US Flag in Protest of Local DEA office | Newsbrief: Kids Are Consuming More Alcohol, Cigarettes, Cocaine, but Are Less Reckless, Says CDC | Newsbrief: Eighty Marines and Sailors Convicted of Using, Selling Drugs | Newsbrief: No Honor Among Thieves -- Informant Sues FBI for His Cut of Forfeitures | Newsbrief: More Complications in Epis Case | Newsbrief: Drug Czar Declares War on Kingpins, Casual Users | Newsbrief: US to Resume Airplane Shootdown Program | Newsbrief: Report Says Post September 11 Security Not Stopping Drugs | Will Foster Free Again | The Reformer's Calendar
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