Bolivia’s Evo Morales did more than kick out the DEA last week. He made some powerful charges.
Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana presented a series of documents and press clippings at a news conference, which he described as “object data” that had influenced Morales’ decision to suspend DEA activities last week.
Quintana said Morales was ready to present the evidence to incoming US president Barack Obama “to prove the illegality, abuse and arrogance of the DEA in Bolivia.”
Throughout the 1990s, the DEA in Bolivia “bribed police officers, violated human rights, covered up murders, destroyed bridges and roads,” said Quintana.
Morales earlier Thursday said that after a 1986 operation in Huanchaca National Park, it was determined that the largest cocaine processing plant “was under DEA protection.”
He also charged that the DEA had investigated political and union leaders opposed to neoliberal economic policies, which he said amounted to political persecution.
On Wednesday, he had accused the DEA of shooting and killing Bolivians during their anti-drug operations, including members of the coca farmers’ movement.
Of course, I have no way of knowing how true Morales’ charges are, yet the sad thing is that they don’t actually surprise me at all, given what I know about the DEA.