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

Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia, left, and President Evo Morales during the signing of a new coca law at the presidential palace, La Paz, Bolivia, March 8, 2017 (AP photo by Juan Karita).
Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia, left, and President Evo Morales during the signing of a new coca law at the presidential palace, La Paz, Bolivia, March 8, 2017 (AP photo by Juan Karita).

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 new coca law nearly doubles the area for legal […]

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