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Department of State Office of Language Services Translating Division

LS No. 09-2012-0319 Spanish/English BBM/ALK/GPG

[REPUBLIC OF HONDURAS] Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights Report File No. 2012-4926 Events occurring on May 11, 2012, in the Ahuas sector resulted in the deaths of Hasked Brooks Wood, Juana Jackson, Emerson Martinez Henriquez, and Candelaria Pratt Nelson. Hilda Rosa Lezama Kenreth, Melanio Olopio Nixon, Wilmer Lucas

Walter, and Lucio Adn Nelson were injured. Survivors said the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was responsible. As a result of those events, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, working through the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Human Rights, opened an investigation and proceeded to take statements from the survivors and the family members of the deceased. It also ordered that the bodies of the victims be exhumed, inasmuch as the families had brought them to four different towns in the area for burial, and the exhumations took place on June 21 and 22. In addition, the National Police were asked to issue a report and hand over the weapons of the police officers who took part in the operation in order for ballistics comparisons to be performed. Inspections were conducted at the scene of the events by a ballistics team, visual inspection specialists, and technicians from the markings identification laboratory, in order to verify the technical and scientific likelihood of the versions of events reported.

-2In the framework of these measures, the investigators obtained a copy of the record of an investigation conducted by the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime regarding a drug seizure in which 439 packages of cocaine were recovered from the Barra Patuca River on May 11 at approximately 1:40 a.m., according to the report of the events made by Deputy Police Chief Orlin Javier Cerrato Cruz in his capacity as Director of the Joint Information Center (CEINCO). Said report indicates that: On Thursday, May 10, 2012, at approximately 6 p.m., information was received concerning an aircraft located over the waters of the Caribbean, coming from the direction of South America, and believed to be flying illegally. The operational units of the geographical Department of Gracias a Dios were immediately alerted, and they set up a police operation to monitor the information available at that time and take appropriate action. The Special Counternarcotics Team was deployed and traveled in four UH1-HII helicopters owned by the NAS (Narcotics Affairs Section), divided into Teams 1, 2, 3, and 4, each made up of four crew memberstwo pilots and two gunners. It should be noted the Team 1 and 3 helicopters were outfitted with two machine guns each and the Team 2 and 4 helicopters were outfitted with one machine gun each. It is important to note that the machine guns with which these helicopters were outfitted were type M 240 7.62 x 51-caliber weapons. Whereas the TRTs (Tactical Response Teams) are composed of 2 DEA FAST members and 3 or 4 members of the Honduran Special Counternarcotics Team, this

-3Ahuas mission deployed 10 FAST members, 13 Special Counternarcotics Team members, 6 gunners who were members of the Police Force and Air Force, and 8 pilots. According to information compiled, of which the DEA FAST Group was in possession, inasmuch as the aircraft was identified as suspicious, it was required to land in the sector closest to Honduran territory (Department of Gracias a Dios). At approximately 1 a.m., there was communication between the pilots of the two helicopters. At that time they were already flying over the area of Mosquita, and

comments were made to the effect that the P-3 was informing them that the suspicious aircraft had been sighted, that said aircraft had landed in a place that at that point had not yet been identified, and that a small truck and approximately 60 persons had also been sighted. Night goggles were of course required to observe the presence of these persons. Also required for this purpose was the support of the P-3, which was continuing to report the coordinates of the suspicious aircraft and of the nearest airstrip for a possible landing. It should be noted that these helicopters are old models that do not have as high a speed capacity of the suspicious aircraft. As a result, they were able to reach the site where the suspicious aircraft had landed only [after?] about 15 [minutes?]. Once they neared the airstrip on which the suspicious aircraft had landed (with the above-mentioned delay), the P-3 pilots reported that the suspicious truck in which the drugs were being transported was traveling in the direction of the closest village. At all times the P-3 was reporting the land coordinates of the suspicious truck and the direction in which it was heading. The truck reached a small village on the Patuca River. Several persons traveling in the truck were observed quickly stepping out of it and starting to

-4remove drugs from it, placing them in one of the boats that was docked on the banks of the Patuca. In the meantime, the four helicopters positioned themselves close to the spot where the drugs had been transported and began to follow a path along the Patuca River for approximately 15 minutes until they identified several movements of persons carrying parcels, allegedly containing drugs at that time, toward one of the boats tied up at the dock in the village. Team No. 1 members reached the ground after the pilot of their helicopter identified a space near the Patuca River to make a safe landing. Because the space was so small, however, the helicopter could only hold the sky [sicsky crane?] briefly to allow the TRT to descend and then had to lift off again; this was only a partial landing because part of the helicopter was hanging over the river and it therefore had to take off again immediately after the team members had disembarked. The helicopter that had been carrying Team No. 1 then flew to the other bank of the Patuca River, leaving the team members behind, and the team members took control of a boat that at that point had been abandoned with the alleged drugs inside. They started the engine and traveled approximately 50 meters up the river, at which point the engine stalled with the boat was still in the vicinity of the river bank. From above, the members of Team No. 4, which at that time was the team closest to the scene on the Patuca River, observed a boat that was being pulled by the rivers current approaching the boat that was having engine trouble. The team that was in the stalled boat, consisting of two police officers of the Special Counternarcotics Team and one member of the DEA FAST team, immediately noticed the boat that was coming

-5towards them and heard someone say, Theres the boat and also immediately heard gunfire. They could not tell whether the gunfire was coming from the boat that was moving towards them or from the other side. One of the members of Team No. 4 and the gunner from that same helicopter state that they observed at least three or four persons inside the boat, a motorized canoe, advancing and firing on the stalled boat holding the members of Team No. 1. This occurred at approximately 3 a.m. Team No. 1, realizing that it was in extreme, even mortal, danger, sought cover in the bottom of the boat and began to fire their weapons. The member of the FAST team had only his handgun on him at the time, and the members of the counternarcotics team are unable to say whether the FAST team member used his firearm or not in the midst of the cross-fire fray. After this action, all the teams came together, made sure that all human capital and equipment was accounted for, took the parcels allegedly containing the drugs out of the boat, docked the boat, and secured the perimeter of the area where the drugs were located since, by this time, residents of the village, having heard the commotion, were coming out to the site. All of this had taken place over several hours, and the sun was coming up: it was nearly 5 a.m., and the operation had begun at 1:30 a.m. With the teams all together and the drugs secured, communication was coordinated to ensure that the helicopters could all land safely: first Team 1s helicopter, then Team 2s, and finally Team 3s, all carrying the dru gs. This was at approximately 5:45 a.m. The teams traveled to the city of Ceiba. It should be noted that in the course of the operation during the early morning hours, using all appropriate safety precautions, the helicopters refueled at the Fifth Infantry Battalion base at Mocoron.

-6The following National Police officers took part in this operation: Noel Andrs Hernndez, Geovany Barahona Cruz, Santos Pablo Cruz Nuez, Eykel Boanerges Valladares, Selvin Emir Espinoza Lagos, Adrian Snchez Hernndez, Jos Manuel Cceres, Dunior Leonardo Medina Matute, Oscar Reinieri Rodrguez Calero, Harley Jovany Atnez, Jos Luis Lemus, Linson Roney vila Suarez, Luis Alfredo Valladares Cedillo, Elmer Alexander Gracia Marin, Alexander Ramn Rbelo Salgado, and Wilson Adil Villalobos Valladares. In the statements they gave to the Office of the Public Prosecutor, they said that they were not aware at the time of the deaths of those persons, so they confined themselves to seizing the drugs and transferring them to the Mocoron base and from there to Ciudad de la Ceiba. They also submitted reports to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime, which oversaw the destruction of the drugs. This was verified by examining the case file. The National Police officers also stated that they fired shots under the circumstances previously described, i.e. under the rational belief that the people driving the boat were criminals, and that, as they explained, they feared being shot and felt that their lives were in danger. Statements were also taken from the survivors who were riding in the boat in which four people were killed. They agreed on the following points. Approximately 15 people left Barra Patuca at 8:00 p.m. on May 10 to go to the Ahuas. None of these people was armed. They were near Ladin de Paptalaya around 2:00 a.m. when they heard helicopters nearby, which woke up those who had been sleeping. A second later, they heard shots coming from one of the helicopters, aimed first at the motor of the boats. The affected parties said they began jumping in the water. Some of them had already been wounded, and they managed to make it to the Ladin

-7shore where the wounded sought help in getting to the hospital. Juana Jackson, Emerson Martnez Henrquez, Candelaria Trapp [sic] Nelson, and the child Hasked Brook Wood [Translators note: this name and others throughout the document are rendered with various spellings], were killed. Hilda Rosa Lezama, Melao Olopio Nixon, Wilmer Lucas Walter, and Lucio Adan Nelson were wounded. Other people also survived unharmed. The survivors stated that they never saw another boat on the riverbank. The Puerto Lempira district prosecutor gathered information about the incident in which Hasked Brooks Wood, Juana Jackson, Emerson Martnez Henrquez, and Candelaria Pratt Nelson died and Hilda Rosa Lezama Kenreth, Melanio Olopio Nixon, Wilmer Lucas Walter, and Lucio Adn Nelson were wounded. He did not include a forensic report because the families had retrieved the bodies and buried them at the following locations: Hasked Brooks Wood in Paptalaya, Juana Jackson in Ahuas, Emerson Martnez Henrquez in Pranza, and Candelaria Pratt Nelson in Barra Patuca. These bodies were exhumed on July 21, and 22, 2012 by the Office of Forensic Medicine, which determined that the cause of death for Hasked Brooks Wood was a lacerated femoral vein from a bullet wound in which the bullet entered from above and traveled downward. The cause of death for Juana Jackson was a heart laceration with three bullet wounds. Emerson Martnez Henrquez died from a heart blockage due to a gunshot wound in the right lateral thorax. A bullet with a lead center and copper coating, fired from a 5.56 by 45 mm caliber rifle was recovered and sent to the Forensic Sciences laboratory. The cause of death for Candelaria Pratt Nelson was a laceration of the right lung from two gunshot wounds. The bullet tip was found in her body and sent to the Forensic Sciences laboratory.

-8It was also determined that wounds were made along a level bullet trajectory, with the exception of Candelaria Pratt Nelson, whose wound showed a downward trajectory. However this is explained by how she was moving prior to being shot. It was also found that neither of the two female victims was pregnant. The following was determined with regard to the people who were wounded: A physical examination determined that Hilda Rosa Lezama Kenreth had a gunshot wound in the right thigh and the left thigh, and would be temporarily incapacitated for 15 days. Wilmer Lucas Walter suffered an exposed fracture of the left hand; no determination was made about incapacitation. Lucio Adan Nelson suffered a grade-three exposed fracture of the proximal third of the right ulna and radius from a gunshot wound. There is a wound in the left lumbar region with a bullet entry and exit point; no determination was made about incapacitation. The inspection of the boats at the scene of the events, as stated by one of the parties, showed the boat in which the affected parties were traveling and the other boat in which the two police officers and a member of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency were traveling. The first boat had several holes compatible with bullet holes and a bullet fragment. The other boat showed no signs of gunshots. Both vessels were seized. A ballistics analysis was also conducted to verify the trajectory of the gunshots on the boat being driven by the persons in question. It was determined that there were 19 areas with small repairs. Seventeen of them were on the inside right side, and two were on the left side. It was not possible to determine if they were caused by handguns or rifles. It was not possible to determine the exact trajectory because the bullet holes could

-9not be seen. However, based on the location of the repairs on the right side on both sides, it could be inferred that the damage was caused by a bullet that had to have a left-to-right and top-to-bottom trajectory. This report also mentioned the possibility that these shots could have come from another vessel or from the river bank. The marks and patterns on the boat were also analyzed. The analysis showed 19 modifications in various parts of the structure as a result of repairs. There was no other type of damage to its cabin, but there was a dent on the body caused by the scraping of this vessel against other vessels while mooring, ruling out an attack, and partial damage of this same type caused by run-ins with similar vessels. A total of 32 weapons were seized: 16 were rifles and 16 ndguns. The following expert analysis was conducted: (1) The ballistic profile of each weapon and its state of operation (2) These profiles were compared with autopsy EXH-027-12 conducted on Emerson Martnez Henrquez and autopsy EXH-02412 conducted on Candelaria Pratt Nelson. It was determined that the bullet recovered during exhumation No. 27-2012 was fired from and is an exact match with the Arsenal brand rifle (no model, 5.56x45mm caliber), which was assigned to police officer Alexander Ramn Rbelo Salgado. The infrared film taken from observation aircraft P-3 on May 11 was also examined. It showed the flight beginning in Honduran airspace, in the Mosquitia sector specifically, and ending in Paptalaya. The following events appear on the film. The path of small aircraft in flight was tracked beginning at 1:21 a.m. on May 11, flying over Mosquitia, Honduras. Fifteen minutes later it landed in Ahuas in an unpopulated area on a rudimentary airstrip. Immediately after landing, the aircraft was

- 10 approached by several vehicles and approximately 20 people. Some of them were apparently guarding the perimeter, while others unloaded an indeterminate number of very large packages, which they then loaded into the back of a truck that had approached the aircraft beforehand. It was not possible to see what happened next in the aircraft or what people were there. However, the driver of the truck could be seen driving away toward a dirt road within a period of 20 to 30 minutes. Even though the area was supposedly dark, according to the Embassy technical expert, the truck traveled at considerable speed and reached the Ahuas community and parked alongside the road. A few meters away off to one side, the village could be seen. The Barra Patuca river can be seen on the other side. The truck traveled from north to south, meaning that the river was on the left side, and the village was on the right sight from the cameras perspective. A good deal of light can be seen in one of the houses, and there were an indeterminate number of people inside. They quickly went out to the truck, and some of them unloaded the truck and put a large number of the packages on one of the boats. Several boarded the boat. There were about eight vessels docked on the riverbank. The people got into the boat and took it out into the center of the river. They were apparently unable to start it at that time. All the people in the sector received a warning to halt. The people in the boat abandoned it, and the group dispersed. Some went toward the houses, and some toward the nearby forest. Three people could be seen approaching the boat. They got on board, and one of them tried, apparently without success, to start the boats outboard motor and move it to the riverbank in order to recover the drugs. However, the current took them away from the community to the south.

- 11 Three people were involved in this activity when the film taken from the helicopter showed another boat approach with approximately 10 to 12 people on board and unidentified cargo in the boats center. That boat moved to the side but did not avoid the drifting boat with the three people aboard it, i.e. the boat with several people aboard it and that appeared to be powered by an outboard motor. What appeared to be a light scraping of that boat would be observed when the other boat ran across the back part of it (i.e., the drifting boat). The scrape was on the left side, and the boat was practically alongside the other boat when flashes of light--apparently gunfire--could be seen. This took place mostly around the boat carrying the drugs with the three people. (This event lasted two minutes and occurred minutes after 2:20 a.m. on the day in question.) The boat with several people onboard was then seen traveling away and stopped further on. This was all that could be observed from the film.

- 12 COMMENTS: 1. The version given by the survivors in the statements they provided on several occasions are not consistent with the technical and scientific analysis in the following aspects: (a) The bullet trajectories in the bodies and the possible position of the shooter, which were determined to have been on the same level as the victims; (b) Observations from the film taken from the P3 aircraft at an altitude of approximately 20,000 feet, which also shows the tracking of an aircraft; the landing of that aircraft; the unloading of packages allegedly containing drugs; the loading of these packages in a truck; the truck driving to Paptalaya; the transfer of the packages from the truck to a boat; the order issued from the helicopters carrying the counternarcotics teams, which caused the immediate dispersal of the people who tried to get away in the loaded boat on the river; three people getting onboard the adrift boat loaded with packages allegedly containing drugs; and lastly the direct and abrupt approach of another vessel containing a group of people, following which flashes of light, presumably from gunfire, were observed. (c) The statements and report provided by the National Police officers in charge of the operations. 2. The bullets found in the bodies (two of which were female) and the casings found in the boat carrying the killed and injured persons were fired by 5.56 caliber rifles, which, as per the investigation, are compatible with those used by the police who were taking custody of the boat carrying the drugs.

- 13 3. In accordance with the ballistics investigation to determine the trajectory of the gunshots on the boat carrying the people who were killed, it was determined that the boat had 19 holes that could have come from gunfire from the other boat or from the riverbank, i.e. from the same level. 4. The autopsies provided scientific evidence that neither of the women who died was pregnant. [Signature] German Edgardo Enamorado Special Prosecutor for Human Rights

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