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The authoritarian regimes of General Hugo Banzer Suárez and General Luis García Meza stood out not only for their harsh repression of political dissent, but also for their increasingly extensive involvement in illicit cocaine traffcking. The courageous journalism of René Bascopé Aspiazu (1951–84) exposed the networks of complicity involving the military, government offcials, and drug cartels. Bascopé, also an evocative short-story writer and novelist, had worked with Luis Espinal at the radical weekly Aquí, and after Espinal’s assassination, during the García Meza regime, he succeeded him as director of the paper.

The following passage from Bascopé’s investigation in 1982...

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