Category Archives: Coca

World Politics Review: Negotiating With Growers, Bolivia Forges Its Own Approach to Coca Production

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.

l_bolivia_04112017_1Negotiating With Growers, Bolivia Forges Its Own Approach to Coca Production

Linda Farthing

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…

read more

Guardian article explores domestic & international reactions to Bolivia’s new coca law

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

‘We have a star product that is stuck sleeping in our country.’
‘We have a star product that is stuck sleeping in our country.’ Photograph: Jorge Bernal/AFP/Getty Images
by Linda Farthing in La Paz

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.”

read more

Nuevo documental: “Hoja por Hoja: el control social de la coca en Bolivia”

“Hoja por Hoja: el control social de la coca en Bolivia” sigue la transición en el Tropico de Cochabamba (Chapare) del violento e ineficiente erradicación forzosa de la coca y el desarrollo
alternativo  condicionado a éste hasta el control social y el desarrollo integral. A través de entrevistas con cultivadores de coca, líderes sindicales y expertos en políticas de coca, “Hoja por Hoja” explora cómo el control social de la coca ha reducido el conflicto y la pobreza,  aumentado la diversificación económica, mejorado la infraestructura y acceso a servicios básicos, respetado los derechos humanos e incluso  reducido el cultivo de coca en Bolivia. Esta estrategia única e  innovadora ha cambiado las indicadores de éxito de la erradicación forzosa y detenciones por el del bienestar de las comunidades locales.

read more

AIN short film explores community coca control in Bolivia

Created by AIN and Bolivian filmmaker Ismael Saavedra, with funding from Open Society Foundations, “Hoja por Hoja: Community Coca Control in Bolivia” traces the transition in the Chapare region from violent, ineffectual forced eradication and conditioned alternative development to collaborative community coca control and integral development. Through interviews with coca grower union leaders and policy experts, “Hoja por Hoja” explores how community coca control has reduced conflict and poverty, increased economic  diversification, improved local infrastructure and basic services, respects human rights, and even decreased coca cultivation itself in  Bolivia. This unique, innovative strategy shifts the yardstick for progress from eradication and arrest indicators to the wellbeing of local communities.

read more