RealNews

U.S. plane in Colombia crash was shot down, firm says

Craft was on mission to destroy drug crops. A U.S. government plane that crashed over the weekend while on an anti-drug mission, killing the pilot, was apparently shot down, a spokesman for a U.S. company said yesterday. The U.S. State Department has sent a statement to DynCorp, a U.S. government contractor, saying “preliminary information indicates the aircraft was struck by hostile ground fire,” company spokesman Chuck Wilkins said in a telephone interview. The pilot, a Costa Rican citizen named Mario Alvarado, was killed in Sunday’s crash of the OV-10 plane in northeast Colombia, Wilkins said. DynCorp, based in Reston, Va., is contracted by the State Department to fumigate cocaine-producing crops in Colombia using State Department aircraft. Alvarado worked for a second U.S. company subcontracted by DynCorp but that asked not to be named, Wilkins said. Alvarado was the sixth U.S. government contractor to be killed in Colombia this year. A Colombian army commander said the anti-narcotics offensive in which Alvarado was participating will continue until all drug crops in the region have been fumigated. Full Story

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