Coca

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U.S., allies seen as losing drug war

Location: 
Mexico City, CA
United States
Publication/Source: 
Los Angeles Times
URL: 
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-cocaine5may05,0,4123403.story?coll=la-home-headlines

U.S. estimates find no Bolivian coca increase under Morales

Location: 
La Paz
Bolivia
Publication/Source: 
San Diego Union-Tribune
URL: 
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070426-0845-bolivia-us-coca.html

WOLA/TransAfrica Forum: Aerial fumigation contributing to the worst recent humanitarian crisis in Colombia

[Courtesy of WOLA] Washington, DC April 7-- In the last 15 days, fighting between the Colombian military and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the activities of new illegal armed groups vying for control of drug routes is reportedly generating the internal displacement of an estimated 7,000 people. The Colombian Department of Nariño is experiencing one of the worst protection and humanitarian assistance crisis since Colombian President Alvaro Uribe began his second term in office. The U.S. financed aerial herbicide spray program (fumigations) compounds and exacerbates the myriad of hardships that Afro-Colombian communities are already facing: racism, disadvantaged access to state programs, food insecurity due to the internal armed conflict, internal displacement and vulnerability to human rights violations by the armed groups. “The current crisis in Nariño illustrates that the fumigation effort just makes matters worse for Afro-Colombians who wish to remain outside of the conflict,” argues Gimena Sanchez, Colombia Senior Associate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). WOLA and TransAfrica Forum (TAF) visited Nariño in March to meet with local Afro-Colombian leaders who provided countless testimonies of how the U.S. funded fumigation effort fails to deter the cultivation of coca. Yet it does inflict tremendous damage on rural farmers’ food crops and their efforts to grow legal crops to sustain themselves. In El Charco area, the Association of Afrodescendant Women for Life (AMAV), an organization with hundreds of members who are attempting to ensure food security for their families and children and remain in their collective territories, informed the mission that fumigation planes destroyed their crops on six occasions in the months of February and March. WOLA and TAF were informed in numerous meetings that the combination of the internal armed conflict, drug related violence, human rights abuses committed by paramilitary groups that have re-grouped or not fully dismantled their operational structures, fumigation efforts, and declining respect for the land rights of Afro-Colombians linked to economic projects such as the cultivation of “African” oil palm is devastating for Afro-Colombian communities. “U.S. counter-drug policies are a failure, the fumigation program is destroying the livelihoods of Afro-descendants in Colombia. It is an outrage that anti-drug tactics used by the governments of Colombia and the U.S. destroy the lives of African descendants in both countries,” states Nicole Lee, Executive Director of TransAfrica Forum. Ms. Sanchez from WOLA points out: “U.S. policy makers must shift the Colombia aid package in favor of programs that support the land rights and alternative development proposals of ethnic minorities, as well as rights based durable solutions to the internal displacement crisis.” Since 2000, the U.S. has invested billions of dollars in aid to Colombia heavily skewed (an estimated 80%) towards security assistance and the aerial herbicide spraying of coca. Although one of the objectives of the aid is to curb drug production, the aid has not met this goal. Despite the spraying of over 2 million acres of illegal and legal crops in Colombia, cocaine production remains robust and cocaine is as available as ever on U.S. streets. According to WOLA Senior Associate for Drug Policy John Walsh, “The fumigation would be bad enough if it were simply wasteful and ineffective. What do the Colombian and U.S. governments suppose will become of these people? Fumigation isn’t the solution, it is part of the problem because it deepens reliance on coca by pushing poor farmers into even more desperate straits.” For more information contact: Joia Jefferson Nuri, Communications, TransAfrica Forum (240) 603-7905 Gimena Sanchez, Colombia Program, WOLA (202) 489-1702 ### To read more on Human Rights Issues in Colombia, and Foreign Aid Details, please go to the following link: http://www.wola.org
Location: 
Colombia

Latin America: More Trouble in Peru's Coca Fields

Tensions continue to rise in the coca fields of Peru's Upper Huallaga Valley, with a coca eradication team attacked over the weekend, a strike by growers bubbling up in Huánuco state, more tough talk from President Alan García, and a Wednesday announcement by the Peruvian police that they had found the link between growers and the violent remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla movement.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/coca-for-market.jpg
coca waiting by the side of the road to go to market
The unrest comes just three weeks after a similar strike in Tocache province in San Martín state. That strike was settled by an agreement to halt forced eradication of coca crops, but the García government ended that moratorium last week, with the president himself calling for the "bombing" of coca fields and maceration pits.

Last weekend, as eradication commenced again, a team of almost 200 civilian and police eradicators were ambushed in Yanajanca in the Tocache district, leaving one civilian eradicator dead and five police wounded. While the identity of the attackers remains unknown, police were quick to note that the area where the attack occurred is an area where a Shining Path remnant led by "Comrade Artemio" operates.

On Tuesday, coca farmers in Tingo María and Aucayacu went on strike, as did their comrades in Leoncio Prado province. Few reports were in by mid-week, but farmers had vowed to block highways. Among other things, they are asking for a meeting with a high-level government delegation.

But President García Tuesday dismissed that call. "What delegation of high ranking officials?" he scoffed. "There is nothing to dialogue about because Peru needs to promote responsible agricultural development with alternative crop programs that will help put an end to drug production."

Drug traffickers are behind the strike, García claimed. "It is evident that drug lords are orchestrating the strike. Just as in Colombia where drug lords have purchased the protection of para-military guerrilla groups to protect their illicit operations, they have done same with groups of coca farmers who run around protesting, 'let me grow whatever I feel like growing' and I am here to tell you that is not how it works," the Peruvian leader said.

By Wednesday, Peruvian authorities had switched from traffickers to the Shining Path as the culprits. In a loudly trumpeted (and conveniently timed) bust, Peruvian Police announced they had "finally placed the link" between restive coca farmers and the Shining Path. Police claimed two Shining Path members were arrested in Aucayacu as they awaited a meeting with coca farmer representatives. Police said they found weapons, ammunition, Shining Path propaganda, and detailed plans for blocking roads during protests.

Peru is the world's second largest producer of coca behind Colombia. Some 60,000 peasant families grow about 100 tons of the bushy plant, much more than is bought up by the state coca monopoly as a legitimate crop.

Peru's Garcia Seems Determined to Stoke Conflict With Coca Growers

Although the Peruvian government cut a deal with coca growers in San Martin state last month to end a strike, promising a temporary end to forced eradication of coca crops, it has since decided to resume the destruction of crops. Garcia has also vowed loudly to bomb coca crops and maceration pits. It is almost as if he is seeking confrontation with growers. Now he's getting it. Coca growers in Tingo Maria, Aucayacu, and Leoncio Prada announced strikes beginning today. Growers in San Martin's Tocache district are already rumbling over the government's reversal on eradication. And someone has taken more direct action: On Friday, snipers opened fire on an eradication team in Yanajanca, killing one civilian eradicator and wounding five police officers. Garcia is headed for Washington soon for trade talks. Is he attempting to curry favor with the US by taking a tough line on coca and cocaine? And what kind of price in terms of domestic conflict and violence is he willing to pay?
Location: 
Peru

Peru's Coca Farmers Start Indefinite Strike Against Government

Location: 
Peru
Publication/Source: 
Living in Peru
URL: 
http://www.livinginperu.com/news-3609-peru-perus-coca-farmers-start-indefinite-strike-against-government

Chafee questions effectiveness of global drug laws

Location: 
Providence, RI
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Pawtucket Times (RI)
URL: 
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18209981&BRD=1713&PAG=461&dept_id=24491&rfi=6

Cocaine production doubles since Jan. 2006 - Bolivian official

Location: 
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Publication/Source: 
RIA Novosti (Russia)
URL: 
http://en.rian.ru/world/20070405/63136977.html

Deadly Drug Cartels Moving Into Peru

Location: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
CBS News
URL: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/03/world/main2641228.shtml

Peru Prez Orders Bombing Drug Labs

Location: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
Prensa Latina (Cuba)
URL: 
http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID=%7BA751397D-E40F-4968-A3F5-A21D112E48D1%7D)&language=EN

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