Bolivia: Bust First, Crash Later

Bust First, Crash Later

The joint U.S.-Bolivian drug raids uncovered no big stashes of cocaine, but the landing of American troops apparently panicked traders in Bolivia's volatile coca market. In a price crash, bundles of coca leaves last week brought just $20 apiece; a bundle fetched $700 two years ago.

In Washington, Bolivia's Ambassador to the U.S., Fernando Illanes, said he hoped the U.S. could provide a quick $100 million loan to compensate for lost cocaine income. A more likely prospect is U.S. release of about $9 million in aid to Bolivia.

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