Decolonizing the Drug War: Bolivia's Movement to Transform Coca Control
AuthorMurano, Andrew J.
Coca has been a controversial concept entangled in a complex web of conflicting political rhetoric; existing simultaneously as a sacred icon to unite the Andean nations, and as a serious scourge on humanity, fraught with social and economic danger to be exterminated for the good of mankind. Labeled by the United Nations as a narcotic, it has been a principal target of the hegemonic ideology of the War on Drugs, which has in turn legitimized a brutal eradication program upon the Andean people. At the start of the millennium, protests against neoliberal imperialism coalesced into a movement united behind coca, that resulted in government resignation and the election of coca farmer Evo Morales to the presidency in 2006. Since then Bolivia has enacted the community driven cato program, which has allowed a set amount of coca to be grown for each registered farmer in return for their collaboration in the fight against cocaine production. Using an expanded version of Galtung's conception of violence, this project examines the results of the program. The project finds the cato program to be a success as it has nearly eradicated illicit coca and improved the livelihoods of the farmers and their communities. However the strict prohibitionist ideology still held by the Bolivian government threatens instability further down the commodity chain. I instead recommend that the ideology and principles that built the cato program be exported to other regions. KEYWORDS: coca, cocaine, peace, War on Drugs, harm minimization, drug policy
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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