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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]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocalero — Please support Wikipedia.
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2744 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 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...

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.

Cocalero 3 10

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 ...


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

MERDA - Indio Cocalero

INDIO COCALERO Malditos mercenários da engrenagem econômica Os camponeses não precisam de suas leis. Vocês e sua mania animalesca por controle Em terra de In...

2744 videos foundNext > 

305 news items

Red Erbol

Correo del Sur
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:41:15 -0700

Arrestan en casa a sujeto por cocalero desaparecido. Un fallo judicial determinó la detención domiciliaria para José Cuyuña Chávez, principal sospechoso de la desaparición del dirigente de la Confederación de Federaciones Campesinas de Yungas ...
Upside Down World
Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:52:30 -0700

Pitting pro-road campesino and cocalero sectors (the traditional bastions of MAS support) against lowland indigenous groups seeking to defend their ancestral lands, the conflict has ruptured the alliance among five national social movements that ...
Diario Pagina Siete
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:59:04 -0700

Por otro lado, el senador del Movimiento Al Socialismo y cocalero, Julio Salazar, dijo que el país del norte "no tiene moral” para calificar la lucha antidroga de Bolivia ya que en los últimos años ha logrado un avance significativo con recursos ...
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:23:08 -0700

El corazón del nuevo reino cocalero no es Leticia sino Caballo Cocha (provincia de Mariscal Ramón Castilla), a tres horas de distancia en bote. Se trata de un pacífico pueblo peruano, de 18.000 habitantes, a orillas del lago del mismo nombre. Detrás de ...

Venezolana de Televisión

Venezolana de Televisión
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 19:37:30 -0700

Caracas, 14 de septiembre de 2014.- En su tercer día de programación, el Festival Internacional de Cine de Caracas proyectará once películas en diferentes salas de la ciudad. La primera en ser exhibida para el público será la venezolana El misterio de ...
Sun, 14 Sep 2014 17:00:00 -0700

Esto no siempre fue así, sino que se ha venido profundizando en los últimos años, de la mano del aumento de la producción de cocaína bajo el gobierno de Evo Morales y particularmente desde que el mandatario cocalero ilegalizó la importación de autos ...
Opinión Bolivia
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:33:35 -0700

La aprobación para la coca chapareña tiene antecedentes en sentido de que muchas veces, sectores políticos de la oposición, productivos y ciudadanos, habían señalado que resultaba injusto que el sector cocalero que produce coca no tribute como lo ...


Fri, 12 Sep 2014 12:50:05 -0700

Lo último que dijo en CNN es que él no es cocalero, sino campesino. El apóstol Pedro de la diosa blanca. Ha negado a la coca, la hoja (ilegal) que lo llevó al poder. La propuesta de los cocaleros ilegales del Chapare es más complicada de lo que parece.

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