Bolivia Gives US Anti-Drug Team Three Months To Leave
LA PAZ (AFP)--Bolivia,
which has put the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on notice it would have to leave the country, on Tuesday issued a deadline of three months for it to pull out.
Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said the letter on details of the withdrawal had been passed along on Saturday.
Leftist President Evo Morales, a staunch foe of the U.S. government, announced Saturday he was suspending the work of the U.S. DEA Administration in Bolivia, accusing it of having encouraged political unrest that killed 19 people in September.
"From today all the activities of the U.S. DEA are suspended indefinitely," the Bolivian leader said in the coca-growing region of Chimore, in the central province of Chapare, where he was evaluating efforts to combat drug trafficking.
"Personnel from the DEA supported activities of the unsuccessful coup d'etat in Bolivia," Morales said, referring to fighting in five of the country's nine regions in September that resulted in 19 deaths.
Morales said DEA agents had been "conducting political espionage to fund criminal groups" who aimed at "attacks on the lives of (government) officials, and the president himself."
The DEA has denied Morales' accusations.
U.S. President George W. Bush had written in a finding released Sept. 16 that Bolivia joined Myanmar and Venezuela, which were already on the list in 2007, as countries that "failed demonstrably" in anti-drugs cooperation.