U.S. Role in Coca War Draws Fire

Old Blog Import

The Expeditionary Task Force, the official name for an armed unit of 1,500 former Bolivian soldiers, is paid, fed, clothed and trained by the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, the Bolivian capital.


U.S. and Bolivian military officials say the unit has played a vital role in an aggressive attempt to eradicate coca from the Chapare jungle, a region larger than Connecticut that provided the basic ingredient for almost half the world’s cocaine during the 1980s and 1990s. Although the soldiers are directly salaried by the U.S. government, American and Bolivian officials describe the outfit as "a group of reservists" within a regular Bolivian army brigade and commanded by regular Bolivian officers.”