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Latest Coca Stories

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2008-09-03 09:30:00

Coca leaf production in the South American Andean nations is booming, thanks in part to a steep rise in cocaine demand from Brazil, local officials say. The supply of Andean cocaine now exceeds that of the earlier industry boom in the 1990s despite billions of dollars in U.S. anti-drug money funneled to Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Poor farmers say they can't make ends meet by raising oranges or coffee, and so are turning to increased coca production,...

2008-07-02 06:00:04

By Chris Hawley CARTAGENA, Colombia -- Sen. John McCain arrived Tuesday night in Colombia to promote a free-trade agreement he says would bolster a key ally in the war on drugs but has stalled in Congress. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is visiting this South American country to showcase his foreign policy and pro-business credentials. The U.S.-Colombian trade deal has gained prominence as an issue in the presidential race, generating opposition from labor unions...

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2008-03-18 00:10:00

The American Heart Association is warning young ER patients about the risks of misidentifying the symptoms of cocaine use as heart attack symptoms. The results of some heart attack treatments in addition to cocaine can be fatal.In an article published on Monday in The American Heart Association's journal Circulation, Dr. James McCord and his colleagues confronted the issue of cocaine-related chest pain.Cocaine is the second most popular illicit substance in the U.S. Its symptoms can be...

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2008-02-26 00:40:00

A team of scientists believe they have discovered a part of the brain which responds to cocaine use. The results of their research may further explain why some users make cocaine use a habit while others become social users.Using brain scans, Hugh Garavan, a cognitive neuroscientist at Trinity College Dublin, and his colleagues studied cocaine users while they performed simple computer tasks. During the tests, they were able to locate areas of the pre-frontal cortex where increased activity...

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2007-03-06 18:00:00

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- Cuban scientists are studying the possible medicial benefits of the coca leaf, a Bolivian official said Tuesday, signaling a possible expansion of President Evo Morales' plans to develop more legal products from a plant that is the chief ingredient of cocaine. Felix Barra, minister of coca and alternative development, told Bolivian radio the Cubans have visited growing areas and would later go to research centers "to examine the benefits of the coca leaf from a...

2006-06-17 16:19:45

LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales visited a coca-growing region on Saturday to open a Venezuelan-funded factory where coca leaves will be made into legal products such as tea and soft drinks. Morales rose in politics as the leader of Bolivia's coca farmers and part of his anti-drug policy is to encourage licit uses for coca -- the plant used to make cocaine, which is also revered by Andean peoples for its medicinal properties. "Manufacturing coca (products)...

2006-05-26 21:53:43

By Helen Popper SHINAHOTA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged $1.5 billion in energy investments in impoverished Bolivia on Friday, receiving a hero's welcome from coca farmers who applauded his anti-U.S. message. Shouts of "Viva Venezuela!" rang out as Chavez, clad in an Andean-style red poncho and wool hat, spoke in Shinahota, a dusty town in the coca-growing Chapare region some 370 miles southeast of La Paz. Chavez's investment promises marked his latest...

2006-05-26 19:01:22

By Helen Popper SHINAHOTA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez pledged $1.5 billion in energy investments in impoverished neighbor Bolivia on Friday, receiving a hero's welcome from coca farmers who applauded his anti-U.S. message. Shouts of "Viva Venezuela!" rang out as Chavez, clad in an Andean-style red poncho and wool hat, spoke in Shinahota, a dusty town in the main coca-growing region 370 miles southeast of La Paz. Chavez's investment promise marked his latest...

2006-05-26 12:10:20

By Helen Popper SHINAHOTA, Bolivia (Reuters) - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, in a move likely to affirm his role as Washington's No. 1 Latin American antagonist, flew into a U.S.-funded military base in Bolivia's cocaine-producing heartland on Friday to sign investment deals with fellow leftist president, Evo Morales. Morales, a former coca farmer, has formed close ties with Chavez since being elected in December and Venezuela's powerful state oil company PDVSA is expected to make...

2006-04-28 14:39:52

By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. drug czar has been challenged to explain disputed statistics underlying a string of rosy reports on progress in cutting the flow of cocaine from South America, one of which prompted an expert to liken the official numbers to "lipstick on a pig." The request came in a detailed 1,800-word letter to John Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), from Senator Chuck...