Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bolivia: Evo Says DEA Can Stay, Mixed Signals Also

Morales has contradicted the resolution made by the Cocalero's powerful Confederation, which calls for expelling the DEA from Chapare region, saying that "all organizations" which combat narco-trafficking and which respect Bolivia's national sovereignity can stay in the country.

While this involves the DEA, it also would extend to the US sponsored alternative crop programs in the region.

What is less clear is if he is in fact supporting the Confederations call for allowing one cato of cocaine per individual, when his original proposal was one per family.

Interestingly enough, the fact that Morales was recently ratified again, as president of Chapare Cocalero organizations, has also caused controversy in the Bolivian Senate. Critics charge it presents a conflict of interest for a Bolivian President.

Ultimately, Evo is walking a tight line here. The proposal to increase cultivation, would clearly put Bolivia's production over the baseline figure for domestic use and for legal export. While Evo's dual role might be seen as tying him too tightly to cocalero interests, the fact is as their elected president he could give him a stronger hand in enforcing a tighter line.


Jonathan said...

They are kicking out the non-confrontational organizations, like USAID and Peace Corps. Who happen to be the better side of American diplomacy in Bolivia helping the people in el Chapare, and many other regions.

The DEA and CIA are in the spying business, so regardless of Evo claiming they are not welcome they'll find a way to get in, it's afterall their specialty.

I'm sure Chinese Intel in the US "is not welcomed" but they are here regardless...

Boli-Nica said...

Some of the US-AID programs have been very effective. Ironically, even some of MAS' members have participated in the classes they offer.

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