Bolivian president suffering from lung, liver cancer
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Bolivian President Hugo Bánzer Suarez is suffering
from cancer in his lung and liver, Information Minister Manfredo Kempff told
Bolivian Radio Saturday.
Kempff gave the interview from Washington, where Bánzer, 74, is
at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Officials at the hospital and Bolivian embassy in the United States could
reached for comment.
Bánzer overthrew the leftist Gen. Juan José Torres in 1971
and served as
president until 1978. He was forced to resign that year following a coup by
Gen. Juan Pereda Asbún, and was exiled to Argentina.
Bánzer returned the following year and ran for president, only to
election. Voters did re-elect him in 1997 as leader of the Nationalist Democratic
Action Party (ADN).
His government has committed itself to shutting down illegal coca cultivation
and drug trafficking during its five-year term. The president has called for action
against government and judicial corruption and has encouraged foreign
investment as a means to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty,
according to the U.S. State Department.
- Journalist Gloria Carrasco in La Paz, Bolivia contributed to this report