Bolivia: Coca producer runs in Presidential election

Evo Morales is running third in the Bolivian presidential election according to the latest opinion poll. Evo Morales would not hit the world’s press circles but for one fact: he is the leader of Bolivia’s coca producers, the leaf which provides the raw material for cocaine, the scourge of so many cities.

Evo Morales is the candidate for the left-wing party Movement for Socialism (MAS), which supports the country’s ethnic Indian groups, who depend on coca leaf production for their living. He has jumped five per cent recently to 11% of the poll, before the elections on 30th June.

If he is given a voice in international press circles, Evo Morales will lay to rest many mistruths about coca production. The coca leaf has been used by Indian populations all over Latin America for thousands of years. Interference from the USA, mainly, led to the cocaine production facilities being set up both inside Latin America and abroad. 85% of the profit from cocaine is made by dealers living inside the USA, the producers receiving a small fraction which keeps their families above the starvation line.


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