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Last DEA Agents Leave Bolivia as Relationship With U.S. Continues to Sink

This perplexing development is a blow to the DEA’s war on drugs and is a further sign of the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and Bolivia. Will any other South American nations follow?

By Chris Kraul
Los Angeles Times
LA PA, Bolivia — The last U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents left Bolivia on Thursday after having been ordered out by President Evo Morales, even as Bolivian police report that coca cultivation and cocaine processing are on the rise.
Morales demanded the DEA’s exit in November as part of a bitter dispute between U.S. and Bolivian officials that included his expulsion of U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and the Bush administration’s decertification of Bolivia’s anti-drug effort.
The departure in recent weeks of three dozen agents ends the DEA’s presence here after more than three decades. Senior law enforcement officials said it was the first time a DEA operation had been ordered out of a country en masse.
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