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Thousands Protest U.S. Coca Stance in Bolivia

HeadlineJan 27, 2011

In Bolivia, thousands of people marched to the U.S. embassy in the capital city La Paz Wednesday in protest of the Obama administration’s opposition to the Andean practice of chewing coca leaves. The United Nations is currently reviewing a Bolivian proposal to remove a clause of a 1961 U.N. convention that declared the coca leaf an illegal narcotic alongside a number of hard drugs including cocaine and heroin. The United States has said it will file a formal objection to removing the coca leaf ban. Bolivia’s Deputy Minister of Coca, German Loza, called the movement to legalize the coca leaf “a social revolution.”

German Loza: “This march is a social revolution, an action in defense of the coca leaf and its chewing, which has never had harmful effects on people’s health. That is why we can’t continue to be subjected to the powers of the international community that ignores the nature of the coca leaf.”

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