Bolivia’s President Evo Morales expelled a US diplomat March 9, accusing him of conspiring with opposition groups. Last week, Morales accused the diplomat, Francisco Martinez, of “coordinating contacts” with a former Bolivian national police captain, Rodrigo Carrasco, who is in turn accused of infiltrating the state oil and gas company on behalf of the CIA. Morales said that “deep investigations” had determined that Martinez “was in permanent contact with opposition groups.” The State Department rejected the allegations and called the move “unwarranted and unjustified.”
Following last month’s scandal at the state hydrocarbons company, YPFB, Carrasco was charged with espionage Feb. 19 in a supposed CIA conspiracy to co-opted the company. A former captain of the national police force’s Special Operations Command (COPES), Carrasco had reportedly received training by the CIA. At the time of his arrest, he served as director of commercialization at YPFB. He remains free while the charges are pending.
Morales expelled the US ambassador six months ago, accusing him of inciting the opposition after a wave of violent protests. (La Prensa, La Paz, March 11; AP, March 10; La Vanguardia, Barcelona, March 7)
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