A real outrage against our culture

Monday, March 10, 2008

Foreign Affairs minister David Choquehuanca announced that Bolivia is going to ask for a rectification of the 2007 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) that called for the abolition of coca chewing and coca tea.

He said Bolivia would never accept the prohibition of "akulliko" (coca chewing), according to the newspaper Los Tiempos. "The coca leaf cannot be prohibited, it is part of culture and we cannot accept this decision," Choquehuanca said. Prohibition would turn Bolivia in "a nation without cultural roots" and he considered the INCB decision "a real outrage against our culture."

This Monday, coca farmers gathered for a vigil and a "pijcheo" (coca chewing in Quechua) to defend the coca leaf and support the government in its fight at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) that started today in Vienna. Some 4.000 protesters were expected in La Paz and the tropics of Cochabamba, according to La Razón.