The often hyper-aggressive war on drugs has created a number of incidents ranging from unfortunate to outright insane as authorities of all kinds (local, state, federal) try, foolishly, to end the use of drugs. before delving into another tragic incident and the resulting attempted cover-up I would just like to offer the suggestion that the abuse of drugs is a more achievable thing to combat. Trying to stamp out the use of drugs in it's entirety will always ensnare innocent people into the sticky (icky) web.
According to JURIST (which is a great law-school run blog that covers legal issues all over the world) the CIA withheld information from the Department of Justice regarding the shooting down of a missionary plane over Peru by the Peruvian military. The CIA had thought the plane was a trafficking drugs but it really turned out to be carrying a family of missionaries. The father and son survived being shot down while the mother and her daughters died. The CIA had previously claimed that the accident was a one-time mistake in an well run program.
In a report that was recently declassified the CIA admitted there were,
"significant violations of required intercept procedures dating back to the first shoot down..."
The plane was shot down as part of a program called the Narcotics Airbridge Denial Program. The program, in simple terms, results in the shooting down of planes that appear to be trafficking drugs. In this specific case the CIA realized before the plane was actually shot down, but after they passed along the info to the Peruvian military in order to shoot it down, that it may not be trafficking.
So, how many other times has this happen?