Native American leaders in Honduras's Mosquito coast demanded today that US drug enforcement agents leave their territory following an operation which reportedly killed four civilians, including two pregnant women.
US and Honduran officials have confirmed that a helicopter which fired on a boat on the Patuca river last Friday was had both Honduran and US agents on board, but claimed it was chasing a vessel suspected of drug smuggling and only fired after being fired upon.
But Lucio Vaquenado, mayor of the nearby town of Ahuas, said: "These innocent residents were not involved in the drug problem. They were going about their daily fishing activities when they were gunned down from the air."
Local government offices have been burned down by angry residents since the killings.
The leaders of five Native American tribes resident in the area issued a joint statement saying: "For centuries we have been a peaceful people who live in harmony with nature, but today we declare US agents to be persona non grata in our territory."