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Latest Coca Stories

2006-01-03 21:23:50

By Patrick Markey CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday promised Bolivian president-elect Evo Morales fuel, economic cooperation and his backing for coca leaf farmers to seal ties between the socialist allies. The Venezuelan leader and Morales, a former coca leaf farmer, have antagonized the U.S. government with their alliance with Cuba and promotion of leftist integration to counter U.S. free-market policies in Latin America. Chavez said...

2006-01-03 19:29:44

By Patrick Markey CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez offered Bolivian president-elect Evo Morales energy and economic cooperation on Tuesday to seal ties between socialist allies united in their opposition to Washington. The Venezuelan leader and Morales, a former coca leaf farmer, have antagonized the U.S. government with their alliance with Cuba and promotion of leftist integration to counter U.S. free-market policies in Latin America. Chavez said the...

2006-01-03 08:10:00

By Jason Webb INZA, Colombia -- Colombian Indians are using the raw material of cocaine to make a soft drink they hope will displace in their area another, better known beverage with the same ingredient: Coca-Cola. Coca Sek -- a fizzy, sweet yellow drink with a fruity, slightly herbal taste -- is being made using coca leaf by Nasa Indians living in the village of Calderas high in the green mountains of Cauca Province in southern Colombia. While it will only become commercially available for...

2005-12-22 13:19:21

By Robin Emmott LIMA (Reuters) - President Alejandro Toledo on Thursday declared a state of emergency in Peru's central jungle after Shining Path guerrillas killed eight policemen amid an upsurge in violence from the Maoist group. The emergency decree bans public gatherings and gives police and military the right to search houses and make arrests without warrants. The rebels killed eight policemen in an ambush on a police vehicle out on routine patrol in the remote Huanuco region on...

2005-12-21 12:50:00

By Fiona Ortiz LA PAZ, Bolivia -- President-elect Evo Morales' pledge to protect coca crops to help Indians, who celebrate the leaves as a centerpiece of their ancient culture, could antagonize Bolivia's neighbors and the United States who fear only cocaine traffickers will benefit. Morales, who won Sunday's presidential vote, for years led coca farmers against joint U.S.-Bolivia eradication campaigns in the 1990s, saying the programs hurt many indigenous farmers who grow the leaf -- the raw...

2005-12-19 17:08:16

By Adriana Barrera COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Evo Morales, who won Bolivia's presidential election on vows to end a U.S. campaign against coca growing, stepped up his criticism of American anti-drug policies on Monday, accusing Washington of using drug fighting efforts to militarize the region. In his first news conference since claiming victory on Sunday Morales -- who took a surprisingly strong majority and will be Bolivia's first Indian leader -- insisted he was opposed to...

2005-12-19 16:45:02

By Adriana Barrera COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Evo Morales, who won Bolivia's presidential election on vows to end a U.S. campaign against coca growing, stepped up his criticism of American anti-drug policies on Monday, accusing Washington of using drug fighting efforts to militarize the region. In his first news conference since claiming victory on Sunday Morales -- who took a surprisingly strong majority and will be Bolivia's first Indian leader -- insisted he was opposed to...

2005-12-19 14:32:38

By Angus MacSwan SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - The election of Evo Morales as Bolivia's president poses new challenges to the Bush administration in Latin America, where its unpopularity is growing and the left is on the ascendancy. U.S. officials have tried to demonize Evo Morales, a former leader of coca farmers and the country's first Indian leader, since he first came to prominence. He himself has called his Movement Toward Socialism a "nightmare" for Washington. But Morales...

2005-12-19 14:43:59

By Adriana Barrera COCHABAMBA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Evo Morales, who won Bolivia's presidential election on vows to end a U.S. campaign against coca growing, stepped up his criticism of American anti-drug policies on Monday, accusing Washington of using drug fighting efforts to militarize the region. In his first news conference since claiming victory on Sunday Morales -- who took a surprisingly strong majority and will be Bolivia's first Indian leader -- insisted he was opposed to...

2005-12-19 11:22:39

By Fiona Ortiz LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Evo Morales, who challenges U.S. anti-drug policies, was set to become Bolivia's first Indian president and join Latin America's shift to leftist leadership after winning an unexpectedly large majority in Sunday's elections. Morales' rivals conceded defeat when results tabulated by local media showed him taking slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, much higher than predicted. With 8 percent of the official ballot tallied, Morales led...