By Martin Steldinger
Dear Mrs. Dyckmans,
In 2009 the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, asked the UN to change the text of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. That change should put an end to the discriminatory and scientifically untenable ban on coca chewing, while the global control system for coca cultivation and cocaine would remain intact.
According to reports that have come out of the meetings of the “Horizontal Drug Group” the United States have prepared a group of “friends of the Convention” to oppose the abolition of the ban on coca chewing.
The findings of the UN 1950 Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf formed the justification for the ban on coca leaf chewing in the Single Convention. Analysts sharply criticised the report as arbitrary, imprecise, racist, and culturally insensitive.
The 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that “indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.”
The Bolivian UN amendment proposal arose from the recognition of the coca leaf as an integral part of Bolivia’s cultural heritage. In the Madrid Declaration of the European Union – Latin America and Caribbean Summit, on May 18, 2010, European countries recognized the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples.
According to me, Germany has therewith recognised the right of indigenous people to protect and maintain their cultural heritage.
I have now been informed that Germany is considering to present an objection to the Bolivian request to the UN.
My question is, at a time where drug prohibition has strengthened criminal cartels to such a degree that they threaten to occupy parts of states such as Mexico and Guatemala – will Germany object at the United Nations, and therewith support the efforts of the USA to impose their will on indigenous people in Bolivia?Republish