Agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration fired the shots that killed one of the Brazilians aboard a plane carrying more than two tons of cocaine that was forced down in Honduras last week, the American embassy in Tegucigalpa said Monday.
Elias Aureliano Herrera was with another Brazilian pilot in a Colombian-registered small plane that made a forced landing last Tuesday near the eastern town of Catacamas.
"When the Honduran police force and DEA agents reached the plane, one of the pilots who was gravely injured was arrested, while the other, who ignored orders that he surrender, was shot when he made a threatening move," U.S. Embassy spokesman Stephen Posivak told Efe.
The pilot who survived, George Luis Rivera, 44, remains hospitalized in Tegucigalpa under strong security measures.
On June 24 the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa confirmed that the day before, one of the DEA agents shot at a suspected drug trafficker in the Ahuas region, where authorities seized 360 kilos (790 pounds) of cocaine.
Honduran authorities confiscated in 2011 more than 22 tons of cocaine in several operations along the Caribbean coast. EFE