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The holy coca plant - coca leaves to survive in Bolivia

Film protocol from Michael Palomino (2000



from: Südwest 3, Th, 2000-1-18 (original German)

Coca is a holy plant of the natives. Bolivia has introduced a five years program for a change in the agriculture with the goal to exterminate the coca plant.

Coca leaves are part of the native's culture. Coca leaves are NOT cocain yet.

Coca production against poverty and slavery
The coca farmers are called "cocaleros". Without alternative production and without a market there is no change of production possible. Insofar there is an effective change necessary.

The coca plant is the salvation when ananas and rice plantations get ill or fail.

The villages in Bolivia do not have electricity or dringking water. In the South climate is dry and hot. The closure of the mines in Potosi brought even more unimployment. The people move into the North into the tropical climate, e.g. to the village of Ciapare, and all are cultivating coca to survive. The plant is growing without big effort. This is technical and financial possible to the contrary of ananas and other plants which need much effort.

But the cocaleros have to be asked if they wanat to work or want to live illegal. At the same time ananas and other products would be second class harvest only which could not be exported and would hardly bring any profit and would not be profitable. So they are going on cultivating Coca.

For palm hearts and ananas there is no market in Bolivia. The farmers shall cultivate palm hearts, maracua and ananas, but the [racist, white, German rooted and Spanish rooted, arrogant] government in Bolivia is not thinking about the salary and the marketing. The farmers are surviving only by cultivating coca plants and by selling coca leaves. The alternative products are driving them to bunkruptcy and slavery.

Waste of money by fighting coca cultivations
The state of Bolivia is wasting money by fighting the coca cultivation, 950 mio. $, 750 mio. $ of it for the "alternative cultivation". Every year 7000 km2 of coca cultivation are destroyed, otherwhies a veto is menacing from the "USA" for the development programs.

Results after 7 years fighting the coca cultivations: no result
-- there arrived no decline of coca production despite of drug hunters
-- 500 mio. $ are wasted
-- the "plan for extermination" did not function
-- the newspaper Economist from N.Y. Times names the operation as a total failure.

A dialog between state and coca farmers does not exist
-- there is no dialogue
-- the police is going on with extermination of coca fields and is striving for stopping the street trading because the official price for a bag of coca leaves on Central market is 10 $, but in the street the farmers get 30-40 $ by the dealers.

Coca for medical purpose and for drug traffic
15'000 ha coca are cultivated for medical purpose.

95 percent of the coca production are designated for drug traffic.

The trade union claims for grants for alternative products, because in Europe agriculture gets grants of 50-80 percents, too. The trade union in Columbia aims clearly:
"The farmers must get money, not the government."

As long as poverty and demand are dominating coca cultivation will exist.

As a consequence the government presents a new coca farmer program with grants for promotion of the alternatives.

Conclusions from Michael Palomino

-- the racist, white government in Bolivia is not interested in the problem of poverty

-- the government in Bolivia gives the guilt to the coca farmers instead to solve the problem itself

-- when Bolivia produces less coca other farmers in other countries will fill the gap

-- the anti coca program of the "USA" is for nothing as long as the money on the world is distributed in a racist manner and as long as the racist government without an integral policy is in power

-- the waste of money is preassigned and the bank's islands as Monaco and Switzerland are going on with their profits of it.


P.S. 2005 from Michael Palomino
Perhaps the government is not so racist anymore and the program has a good effect, but probably other farmers are producing the coca now which is not anymore produced in Bolivia: Afghanistan...