Ryan Grim and Nick Wing have a fascinating piece in Huffington Post: Operation Naked King: U.S. Secretly Targeted Bolivia’s Evo Morales In Drug Sting
Because of a confidential informant who is suing the federal government for $5 million in back pay, we’re learning a lot more about the DEA’s attempts to go after Morales and Bolivia. This article gives a good background on the animosity between the two countries and the use of the DEA and drug control policy as a weapon.
In 2009, Hillary Clinton warned of Morales and the late Venezuelan President Hugo ChÃ¡vez’s “fear mongering” in written testimony during her secretary of state confirmation hearings. Yet Morales’ fears, it turns out, weren’t rooted in mere paranoia. The DEA was, in fact, out to get him.
The revelation of Operation Naked King goes to show that Bolivian leaders’ paranoia was well justified, said Kathryn Ledebur, who runs the Andean Information Network based in Bolivia. “US authorities frequently dismiss Bolivian government denunciations about the DEA and US intervention as absurd speculation, but these revelations show what is common knowledge on the ground â€” there has long been an alarming lack of oversight of DEA operations in Latin America, including recurring mission creep and a violation of agreements with host countries,” she wrote in an email.
“Even before Moralesâ€™s election, high-ranking US officials warned his policies on coca and drug control and rejection of American policy dictates would plunge Bolivia into drug trafficking chaos. Yet, without the DEA or US funding, Bolivia has consistently improved its track record, with the lowest coca crop in the region and credible interdiction policies. Thereâ€™s a lot of cognitive dissonance for US drug warriors, and in this case, it appears some worked to make their predictions appear true.”