LA PAZ, Bolivia – Bolivian authorities say a second member of a government coca eradication squad has died of gunshot wounds suffered in an ambush by coca growers, who are holding eight others hostage.
Interior Minister Carlos Romero says 20 more members of the joint military-police team were wounded in Saturday's attack in the community of Apolo, 90 miles north of La Paz.
It was the first fatal attack on an eradication team during the nearly eight-year presidency of Evo Morales, a coca-growers union leader.
Romero says a police officer died Sunday. An army lieutenant died Saturday from a bullet that pierced a lung.
Local leader Gregorio Cari accuses security forces of attacking growers with tear gas and gunshots.
The government considers two-thirds of Bolivia's coca crop legal. But it eradicates unapproved cultivation.