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.”
In this interview from January 14, 2016, AIN’s Julia Romani Yanoff talks to Leonardo Loza, coca union leader from Bolivia’s Chapare region, about how community coca control has transformed the Chapare region and Bolivia’s global image.
Read the full interview here: Leonardo Loza Interview English
Esta entrevista, del 14 de Enero 2016, entre Julia Romani Yanoff de la RAI y Leonardo Loza, dirigente de las Seis Federaciones del Tropico de Cochabamba, explora como el control social de la coca ha cambiado la vida en el Chapare y el imagen de Bolivia.
Lea aqui: Entrevista con Leonardo Loza Español
Malia Obama visited Bolivia last month. Although unknown to the public until recently, the trip was apparently organized with the approval of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
“In spite of significant political differences with the Obama administration, he accepted the visit, understood the significance of the learning experience and respected Malia’s privacy…It’s really an important precedent,” said AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur in a New York Times editorial.
The “Where there be Dragons” program provides U.S. students the opportunity to learn about political, social, and environmental issues in Bolivia. The program offers talks on the water war, globalization, coca control and drug policy.