In February 2017, a delegation of 8 coca growers from across Colombia traveled to Bolivia to learn about the country’s shift from forced eradication and conditioned alternative development to community coca control and integrated development. Through meetings with civil society, social organizations, and government ministries, the delegation was encouraged to envision how Bolivia’s experiences could apply to Colombia, where coca reduction has emerged as a critical point in the historic post-conflict transition.
Written by AIN Contributor Linda Farthing in the World Politics Review, “Negotiating with Growers, Bolivia Forges its own Approach to Coca Production” analyzes Bolivia’s new coca and controlled substance laws.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Last month, Bolivia passed new coca and drug control laws that marked another milestone in the independent—but to his critics, controversial—drug policy fashioned by President Evo Morales’ government. A decade in the making, the laws “were an essential step because the former drug law was imposed by the U.S.,” the vice minister for social movement coordination, Alfredo Rada, told the local press. He was referring to a 1988 law pushed by the United States that limited the production of coca—the main ingredient in cocaine—and carried harsh penalties for illegal cultivation…
The 2017 Global Food Policy Report of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) highlights sustained reductions in Bolivia’s hunger index between 1992 and 2016. The Index is calculated using data on prevalence of undernourishment, wasting, stunting, and child mortality. In the last eight years, Bolivia’s index decreased by 8.5, moving from “serious” to “moderate” severity. To learn more, visit the IFPRI website here.
Interested in drug policy and human rights in Bolivia? Looking for a professional experience in South America? Apply to be AIN’s new Program Assistant based in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The position has a start date between late May and early June.
Read the full job description below:
Email your resume, cover letter, and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 21st if interested.
Watch the “Supply Side Harm Reduction” Side Event organized by the International Drug Policy Consortium, Transnational Institute, Andean Information Network, OCDI and others, which explores the applicability of the “harm reduction” concept to the wide range of violences associated with war on drugs, including supply side policies here.
Bolivia sees coca as a way to perk up its economy – but all everyone else sees is cocaine
Farmers can now grow more of the ‘star product’, but officials underestimated international resistance because coca is so widely accepted as harmless in Bolivia
Ricardo Hegedus raised his voice so he could be heard over the clanging of tea-packaging machines. “Coca is a marvellous gift of nature, offering a moderate stimulant like coffee – but full of vitamins and minerals,” he said.
Hegedus, the manager of Windsor – Bolivia’s largest coca leaf tea producer – pointed to stacked boxes of teabags and said: “We have dreamt of exporting coca tea for the 26 years I have worked here.”