05.24.17

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy To The Joint Review Of The Inspectors General Of The Departments Of Justice And State On Three Deadly Force Incidents In Honduras

“I commend the Inspectors General for conducting this review, without which we would have piecemeal accounts rather than the truth.

“The review unmasks egregious events and conduct, as well as the subsequent efforts to hide the truth about what happened.

“This report is nothing less than a wholesale indictment of the DEA and Honduran police for three poorly planned operations that resulted in the use of deadly force -- in one case, the shooting deaths of four innocent civilians -- and of incompetent investigations that never seriously pursued the truth.

“DEA, Honduran, and State Department officials provided Congress with incomplete, inaccurate, and misleading information in order to perpetuate a self-serving narrative that was fundamentally flawed and demeaned the lives of the victims and the reputation of the United States.  I am deeply concerned about the uninformed arrogance at these agencies that produced these failures.  This raises serious questions whether these cases are isolated incidents.

“Both the DEA and the State Department need to ensure that those involved are held accountable, that the victims’ families are appropriately compensated, and that procedures are in place to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

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[Leahy (D-Vt.) is the Ranking Member of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.  He also is the Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee.]

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