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Thu Jun 26, 2014, 09:09 PM

Bolivia Charts Its Own Path on Coca

Bolivia Charts Its Own Path on Coca
By Samuel Oakford

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 26 2014 (IPS) - This week, the U.N. reported that coca cultivation in Bolivia fell nine percent last year, and a massive 26 percent in the past three years.

Two mid-altitude regions – Yungas de La Paz and the Cochabamba Tropics – account for nearly all cultivation in Bolivia and both areas saw significant reductions in 2013. Remarkably, illegal cultivation in Bolivia’s national parks was cut in half, to only one thousand hectares.

The nationwide decrease, to an area of only 23,00 hectares, or 12 miles, is widely regarded as a laudable achievement, but overlooked is the fact that Bolivia’s success has come on its own terms – not Washington’s – and with vital cooperation from many of the country’s small coca farmers.

“Bolivia reduced the crop through eradication efforts, but also with the participation of coca growers and farmers,”Antonino de Leo, U.N. Office for Drugs and Crime’s representative in Bolivia, told IPS.


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Reply Bolivia Charts Its Own Path on Coca (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 OP
Warpy Jun 2014 #1
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #2
Al Carroll Jun 2014 #3
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 09:39 PM

1. People who live at high altitude in the region need coca

The leaves prevent altitude sickness and allow them to cultivate their crops and cope with raising camelids and sheep.

There are two extreme altitude populations in the world, those in the Himalayas and those in the Andes. People in the Himalayas have a genetic mutation that increases oxygen transport in their systems. People in the Andes lack this mutation and cope with the aid of coca.

The DEA would love nothing more than eradicating the plant completely. They really need to be stopped.

Morales is a smart man, knowing he was facing military intervention from a country that doesn't like uppity Indians who move left and run countries, the excuse being illegal coca production. Cutting it in half is better than the paramilitary DEA has ever done.

Good for him. Legal production has to be preserved.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 02:35 AM

2. Evo Morales is absolutely bright to have seen a way to invite DEA to leave the country

to allow it to run its OWN affairs.

They had done the people of Bolivia absolutely NO FAVORS whatsoever. Very cruel, ugly history left behind them.

Best wishes to the real citizens of Bolivia.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 10:32 PM

3. Coca is not cocaine

I was sick from the altitude while traveling in Peru. The innkeeper made me traditional coca tea. Even caffeine has a stronger "high". But it did cure my sickness.

Coca has been successfully used for thousands of years without harming Natives. The drug war needs to avoid trying to change that.

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Response to Al Carroll (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 11:22 PM

4. It's sad that this plant has been used traditionally for thousands of years in the Andes.

It must be so disgusting, depressing, outrageous to Native Andean citizens that a remote bully in the North has made it its business to try to destroy an element of their world which has been in constant, common, trusted use there all the way back deeply within antiquity.

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