Bolivia seeks State Department approval for Czech aircraft sale

The Bolivian government has applied for approval from the US State Department to purchase six L-159 light warplanes from the Czech Republic. Defense Minister Walker San Miguel told the daily La Prensa the planes, to be bought for $58 million, contain electronic parts made in the US, and their sale to a third party therefore requires US authorization. San Miguel said the planes would be used for drug enforcement. (AFP, March 11)

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, a vocal critic of US drug policy, suspended the operations of the US Drug Enforcement Administration in Bolivia late last year.

See our last post on Bolivia.

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  1. Bolivia busts cocaine lab
    From AP, March 27:

    Bolivia’s interior minister says police have uncovered one of the country’s biggest known cocaine processing factories.

    Interior Minister Alfredo Rada says two Colombians and a Bolivian were arrested at the nearly 1,000-acre (400 hectare) site in Bolivia’s dense, southeastern jungles.

    He said Friday that anti-drug police were led to the factory after intercepting a small plane bearing 660 pounds (300 kilograms) of cocaine near Bolivia’s border with Argentina and Paraguay this week.