Source: EL DEBER
20 january 2011
On January 26, several Bolivian coca growers’ unions will intensify campaigns to support UN de-penalization of the coca leaf. According to one union leader, groups from all nine Bolivian departments are organizing public coca leaf chewing demonstrations in the main plazas of principal cities.
Each member of the six federations of coca growers from the Chapare region of Cochabamba contributed one pound of coca leaves to be distributed at the demonstrations. Supporters hope to teach Bolivians and international observers more about the positive benefits and derivatives of coca in its natural state, and highlight the fundamental difference between the leaf and cocaine. “Coca in its natural state is not cocaine, it is nourishing and healthy, according to the nutritional and medicinal values determined by scientific studies [conducted] in international laboratories, especially in Europe and the United States,” asserted coca grower union leader Benjamin Montes.
In addition to local demonstrations, supporters are organizing campaigns to support UN de-penalization in other countries where significant numbers of Bolivian immigrants live, including Argentina, the United States, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium and others.Republish