Bolivia’s Chapare province wants an end to all projects by the U.S. Agency for International Development. “We want USAID to go. If USAID leaves, we will have aid from Venezuela, which is unconditioned and in solidarity,” Chapare coca leader Julio Salazar averred. In 2007, USAID released USD87 million in aid to Bolivia and part of that – USD11.9 million – funded road projects and other initiatives to encourage Chapare farmers to cultivate alternatives to coca. Asterio Romero, revealed that Chapare’s main coca-growing group, where he is a vice president, ordered USAID to stop its operations starting today. A U.S. Embassy official suggested that the organization has not received any official directive from the group.
Source: Bolivian region rejects U.S. anti-drug aid (AP)