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4.14.2006

 

The politics of coca



As you munch your poppyseed muffin, consider how absurd it might seem if suddenly the United Nations were to declare your muffin illegal.

Something similar happened in the late 1940s on the coca front. Despite more than a millenium of legitimate use by the people of the Andes, the crop was criminalized by the U.N.

Recently elected Bolivian President Evo Morales, himself once a radical defender of coca farmers' rights, wants to see that changed. By de-criminalizing coca he hopes to clear the way to develop overseas markets for legitimate, coca-based products, such as soaps, toothpaste, food products and more.

Get the full story from Juan Forero, the New York Times' man in South America, in a brilliant video report.

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