Seventeen Aircraft Downed in Colombia and Peru Since Resumption of U.S. Intelligence
Seventeen aircraft suspected of drug smuggling have been shot down or forced to land since the resumption of U.S. intelligence aid ("Colombia, Peru Down Smugglers," Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 14, 1995, p. 25).
The aircraft were shot down, forced to land, or destroyed, according to the U.S. Southern Command in Panama. It is unclear how many planes have been destroyed. "It doesn't matter," said U.S. Air Force Colonel Bruce Cucuel. "The results are the same."
The U.S. started providing data to Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador on March 1. Radar data was cut off from those countries' anti-drug forces on May 1, 1994 because the U.S. feared it would be held liable for the downed planes (see "U.S. Continues to Withhold Real-Time Information on Suspected Andean Drug Flights," NewsBriefs, August 1994, p. 12; "Peru Cracks Down on Drugs in Wake of U.S. Resumption of Information-Sharing," NewsBriefs, February 1995).