Last of DEA's Agents in Bolivia Leave Country

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Friday, January 30, 2009

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Jan. 29 -- The last U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents left Bolivia on Thursday, 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 dispute between U.S. and Bolivian officials that included his expulsion of U.S. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg and the Bush administration's decertification of Bolivia as an effective ally in the drug war.

The departure over 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.

-- Los Angeles Times


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