Coca or death?
Following Bolivia's 2002 parliamentary elections, the success of the political party headed by cocalero leader Evo Morales, rekindled debate regarding cocalero organisations in the Andes and their vindications. Disinformation around these organisations has contributed to a rise in terms like narcoguerrilleros and narcoterroristas, etc. being applied to the various cocalero peasant movements.
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At the core of this debate lies the relationship between good governance, drug policies and the cocalero movements. The unbalanced approach of international drug control, the lack of leeway that governments and societies in the South enjoy to design their own, independent policies, and the phantoms conjured around the cocalero organisations, make good governance a genuine challenge in the countries pinpointed as coca producers.
This issue of Drugs and Conflict analyses cocalero peasant organisations in Peru and Bolivia and their interaction with successive governments during the peasant mobilisations of recent years. The achievements and failures of such negotiations expose the difficulty in finding peaceful and sustainable solutions to an issue as intricate as the cultivation of coca leaf.
TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers 10