Drugs Could Be Deadly In Peru

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A senator wants changes to a U.S./Peru anti-drug campaign that allows the Peruvian military to shoot down civilian aircraft suspected of running drugs. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Friday urged the Bush administration to reconsider the policy because, he said, there is no guarantee that identification safeguards will prevent the deaths of innocent people. Leahy cited the death of a mother and infant daughter in the mistaken downing of a missionary aircraft in April of 2001 in Peru. Leahy said he's all for trying to stop the flow of drugs using aerial surveillance. "I am concerned that the foreign pilots are performing the role of prosecutor, jury and executioner, even when there may be no cause for self-defense and no proof that the operators of the targeted aircraft have broken any law," Leahy told the Senate. AOPA and the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilots Associations applauded Leahy's sentiments.