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Bolivia Stops US Anti-Drug Work

Bolivian President Evo Morales halted the United State's anti-drug efforts in the region on Saturday as relations between the two countries continue to sour, reported The New York Times.

Morales accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency of espionage and undermining his leftist government, but did not specify whether he would expel DEA agents from Bolivia, reported the BBC.

"Personnel from the DEA supported activities of the unsuccessful coup d'etat in Bolivia," Morales said. "“There were DEA agents who worked to conduct political espionage and to fund criminal groups."

The United States have denied Morales' accusations, saying they have played no part in conspiring against the Bolivian government. The DEA said they won't give up in the region, however.

“We will find other ways to make sure we keep abreast of the drug-trafficking situation through there,? said Garrison Courtney, a DEA spokesman.

The DEA's work largely centers on coca, the raw material used in the production of cocaine which is widely grown in Bolivia. Many Bolivians include coca in their daily lives, chewing it because of its supposed health benefits.

Relations between the United States and Bolivia have soured since Morales' election in 2006. After Morales limited DEA activities and expelled the United States ambassador for espionage, the U.S. placed Bolivia on their anti-narcotics blacklist, which decreased Bolivia's trade preferences.

Despite Morales' promises to reduce coca production, Bolivia's coca output increased 5 percent in 2007, according to United Nations report.