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Coca leaf

Cocaleros are the coca leaf growers of Peru and Bolivia. In response to U.S.-funded attempts to eradicate and fumigate coca crops in the Chapare region of Bolivia, cocaleros joined with other grassroots indigenous organizations in the country, such as syndicated mine workers and peasants to contest the government. Evo Morales, who became president of Bolivia in 2006, is a leader of the cocalero movement in that country.[1]

The Coca plant and the War on Drugs[edit]

Coca has been cultivated for 8000 years by indigenous people in the Andes for medicinal and religious reasons. As a stimulant, it is helpful in overcoming altitude sickness in the high Andes, and can be chewed and made into tea. Other medicinal uses include pain relief, stanching blood flow, combating Malaria, Ulcers, Asthma and improving digestion.[2] It is also configured in many religious ceremonies as offerings to Apus, Inti, and the Pachamama and as a method of divination.

An herbicidal shower over a coca field

It was introduced to Europe in the 16th century but it was not until the mid 19th century that it began to be refined into cocaine. Its cultivation was prohibited by Bolivian law, except in the region of Yungas despite its affinity to the climate and land of the Chapare region. Coca crops in Chapare were thus targeted for eradication. Because coca and cocaine were being trafficked up through South and Central America to the United States, coca production in South America came to the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which, under subsequently Plan Colombia, began to fund eradication efforts across the continent. Plan Colombia sent hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, training and equipment to Central and South American countries, thereby militarizing the region and local and national governments' responses to coca production. Cocaleros who make their livings growing and selling coca were the most negatively affected by the policies, as their crops were burned, ripped up, or sprayed with herbicide.[3] Coca producers are left with few alternatives for subsistence, and therefore call for the legalization of coca. Also the anti-drug militancy has targeted left wing guerrilla groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and gangs who are involved in the drug trade. In 1987, UMOPAR, La Unidad Móvil Policial para Áreas Rurales, was formed as an anti-narcotic counterinsurgency force in Bolivia. It received training and monetary aid from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and led raids on coca fields and suppressed cocalero organizing.[4]

Indigenous Organizing in Bolivia[edit]

See also: Coca in Bolivia

Bolivia is a multiethnic, majority indigenous country in South America. Among over three dozen Amerindian nations, the most prominent are the Quechuas, Aymaras, Chiquitanos, Guaranís, and Mojeños. White and mestizo Bolivians have traditionally held power in the country since the time of colonization. For hundreds of years indigenous people were employed by mines that exported the country's mineral wealth abroad, first to Spain and then to other parts of quickly industrializing countries such as the U.S. and Western Europe following independence in 1809.[5] In the 1980s, the Bolivian Mining Corporation closed many mines, which forced many former miners into coca production. Not only did coca farming provide a living for the ex-miners, but the turn from wage labor to farming allowed for more political organization. Many of the organizations formed during this time period such as the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia later joined forces with the Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, the Confederación Sindical de Colonizadores de Bolivia to form the beginnings of the Movimiento al Socialismo, the Party of Evo Morales. Among major mobilizations since its inception, the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia has played a part in marches for land reform, indigenous autonomy, and for a plurinational state.[6]

Cocaleros and the MAS Party[edit]

Evo Morales

Movement for Socialism - Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (In Spanish Movimiento al Socialismo-Instrumento Político por la Soberanía de los Pueblos) or MAS rose as a left-wing populist political organization to support the preservation of the coca plant and the cocalero economy. It grew out of and gained support from the indigenous grassroots organizations that began to coalesce following the closure of mines and the criminalization of the coca plant and indigenous cocaleros.[7] Carlos Mesa, the president of Bolivia from October 17, 2003 to June 6, 2005, presided over several controversies that mobilized the indigenous grassroots organizations against the government, notably the Bolivian Gas Conflict which drew momentum from the Cochabamba Water Wars. Both of these conflicts centered on disputes between the indigenous population and the government over control of resources, which has long defined Bolivia's relation to the so-called first world. Mesa hastily resigned, opening up the country for elections. The momentum of the MAS party led to the successful election of Evo Morales, a cocalero union organizer, with a 54% absolute majority.[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocalero — Please support Wikipedia.
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2529 videos foundNext > 

Cocalero 1/10

Parte 1 de 10 de la película Cocalero del director Alejandro Landes que narra la aventura electoral del primer presidente indígena de la historia de Bolivia,...

Cocalero [Trailer Oficial]

Dir. Alejandro Landes Hijo de la guerra norteamericana contra las drogas, un indio aymara llamado Evo Morales, acompañado por una tropa de cocaleros, atravie...

Cocalero 2 10

Documental COCALERO - Vida de Evo Morales - Parte II

http://www.fmbolivia.com.bo Cocalero es un documental dirigido por Alejandro Landes. Narra los viajes que realizó Evo Morales por toda Bolivia durante su cam...

Corrido Prohibido- Cocalero

El corrido del cocalero, andaleeee compa, k somos jornaleros cokeros.

Documental COCALERO - Vida de Evo Morales - Parte I

http://www.fmbolivia.com.bo Cocalero es un documental dirigido por Alejandro Landes. Narra los viajes que realizó Evo Morales por toda Bolivia durante su cam...

COCALERO

Video Clip del documental Cocalero de Alejandro Landes, Cliche Latino por Kevin Johansen.

Cocalero trailer

Un documental centrado en la unión formada por los campesinos bolivianos, en respuesta a los esfuerzos de su gobierno (que fue instaurado por los EE.UU.) la ...

Cocalero 3 10

Uriel Henao - El Corrido Del Cocalero

Corrido 100% Colombiano.

2529 videos foundNext > 

499 news items

Diario Pagina Siete

Red Erbol
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:09:59 -0700

El vicepresidente de la Coordinadora de las Seis Federaciones del Trópico de Cochabamba, Leonardo Loza, afirmó hoy que el narcotráfico en el país es una responsabilidad del Estado y de los propios productores cocaleros, que de manera conjunta deben ...
 
La Razón (Bolivia)
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Los productores de coca del trópico de Cochabamba indican que el candidato opositor Samuel Doria Medina “fue de turismo” al Chapare y que los partidos de oposición “pierden el tiempo” al intentar hacer campaña en esa región del valle. “Hemos ...

Opinión Bolivia

Opinión Bolivia
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 21:16:13 -0700

Un personaje misterioso tiene completamente obsesionados a los estadounidenses. Se trata de “La mujer de negro”, personaj. El País. TITULARES EL PAÍS. 18:57, Magistrada denuncia intento de golpe del MAS al Tribunal Constitucional. 17:21, Evo ...
 
FmBolivia.Net (Noticias de Bolivia)
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:52:30 -0700

El presidente y candidato presidencial del MAS, Evo Morales, pidió que disculpen al candidato a senador de su partido, Ciro Zabala, quien declaró que las mujeres deben aprender a "comportarse” para no ser objeto de violencia sexual y feminicidios.
 
Los Tiempos
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:41:15 -0700

En el Estado cocalero el poder implica sexualidad y dominación, porque el sexo es sobre poder y sumisión. Es la noción patriarcal del estado-cosa, “nación” o “patria” pueblan el discurso oficialista como metáfora femenina neutralizada, objeto pasivo de ...

LaRepública.pe

LaRepública.pe
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 02:45:00 -0700

El ex congresista Michael Martínez Gonzales (2001-2006) postula a la presidencia de la región Apurímac por el movimiento cocalero Kallpa, que en las pasadas elecciones varios de sus candidatos ganaron tres alcaldías provinciales y 26 distritales, entre ...
 
Almomento.net
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:14:09 -0700

... se han pronunciado los presidentes de Nicaragua, de Ecuador, el indio cocalero de Bolivia, que a donde quiera que va lleva su hoja de coca en el bolsillo, Juan Evo Morales Ayma y, no podía faltar el sicofante colombiano que desgobierna la nación ...
 
El Deber
Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Por eso se dice, no sin razón, que en este país desventurado se ha instalado el régimen cocalero de una ínfima minoría, pero que ha tenido la viveza de extender sus tentáculos, alimentar el revanchismo, sembrar la discordia, alentar el populismo y ...
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