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May 11, 2009
Bolivians depend on coca plant despite anti-drug efforts

For more than 30 years, a drug war was waged in Bolivia with the help of the U.S. drug enforcement administration. Bolivia’s Yungas region is one of the world’s leading sources of the coca plant — the key ingredient in the production of cocaine.

But Bolivia’s leftist leader, Evo Morales — himself a former coca farmer — recently expelled U.S. drug enforcement agents from the country. As Worldfocus’ Ivette Feliciano, Bryan Myers and Ara Ayer discovered, many impoverished Bolivians depend on the coca plant for their livelihood.

Also, pass through a drug checkpoint in Bolivia’s mountains (web original video).

For more Worldfocus coverage of Bolivia, visit our extended coverage page: On the Ground in Bolivia.




[…] Feliciano reported on Bolivia’s coca plant cultivation as part of the signature series “On the ground in Bolivia.” The coca plant is still […]


[…] read amid crucifixes and Bolivian war heroes Bolivian land reform comes under fire from landownersBolivians depend on coca plant despite anti-drug effortsMorales: U.S. must “restore trust” with BoliviaBolivia eyes lithium with hopes to […]


Why did you use data from the Los Angeles Times? At least you could have gone to an original source such as the untrustworthy US State Dept figures, or better, the UNODC. The incease in seizures could be because police work and detection are getting better and doesn’t indicate an increase in production. Regardless, I would seriously question the figures you’ve used.


Very interesting to see the efforts to control the illegal use of coca to make cocaine that the government in Bolivia is already doing – I had no idea.

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