Latin American Nations Reject DEA
Bolivia, Ecuador latest to repudiate US anti-drug operations
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 12:02 PM CST
A peasant spreads out coca leaves to dry in the sun in Asunta, Bolivia, Oct. 4, 2008. President Evo Morales has rejected a request from the DEA to fly anti-narcotics missions over Bolivia.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Some Latin American countries are pushing back against the US by cutting off DEA operations, the Christian Science Monitor reports. President Evo Morales, saying DEA agents "worked to conduct political espionage," gave them 3 months to leave Bolivia. Ecuador, meanwhile, has refused to renew the US lease on a key airbase, which an American official says creates a "serious gap" in drug-interdiction operations.

Venezuela is also failing at anti-drug cooperation, according to President Bush. And although many condemn the moves—which some see as efforts toward more self-determination and some consider contributing to the difficulties in fighting drug production—others see them as a path forward. Although decreased presence is a blow, “it's an opportunity to take a different tack,” the director of a regional task force says.