Bolivia Steps Up Campaign at U.N. to Legalise Coca Leaf
Is coca a dangerous drug that should be tightly regulated, or an essential part of Andean indigenous people's cultural and medicinal heritage? Or perhaps both?
Martin Jelsma of the Transnational Institute, which conducts research on global social movements and their struggle for economic, social and environmental justice, thinks the ban on coca chewing is "a violation of indigenous peoples' rights and that it is in contravention of several other treaties and declarations". The U.N. biological diversity treaty and the declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples, for example, fully recognise the right of native peoples to practice their cultural values and belief systems.
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