Latest Coca Stories

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...

2006-04-17 19:24:47

By Hugh Bronstein BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - The United States will give three additional planes to Colombia this year to help its fleet of 21 aircraft already spraying defoliants on plants used to make cocaine, a top U.S. official said on Monday. The planned move follows a report showing an increase in coca crops in the Andean country and a request from Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for more anti-drug assistance. The U.S. government's 2005 survey of Colombia's coca crop found...

2006-03-27 08:25:00

By Robin Emmott PICHARI, Peru -- At the orders of their mayor, artisans in Peru's jungle recently put the finishing touches on a giant monument to the coca leaf, a defiant tribute to the plant that fuels the cocaine trade and provides a living for thousands of Peruvian peasants. The concrete monument in the impoverished central jungle hamlet of Pichari, which the town hall aims to unveil next month, underscores growing rural support for coca leaf, which was declared illegal in a 1961 U.N...

2006-03-18 14:03:57

By Sue Pleming HONOLULU (Reuters) - A Bolivian guitar decorated with coca leaves in Chile, holding hands with Elmo in Indonesia and a snapshot with "Thorpedo," Australia's swimming sensation. It wasn't the average trip for U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose foreign forays usually involve more serious photographs with her mostly male counterparts in suits. But on a nine-day journey ending on Sunday, the top U.S. diplomat tried to put a more informal, popular face on...

2006-03-13 18:35:00

LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales, a coca farmer who has called himself a nightmare for Washington, has invited U.S. President George W. Bush to visit the country, a Bolivian official said on Monday. Morales has formed close relationships with communist Cuba and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Washington has been wary of Morales' leftist ideology and his policy to defend coca growing in Bolivia -- the world's third-biggest cocaine producer after Colombia and...

2006-03-11 15:25:00

By Sue Pleming VALPARAISO, Chile -- Bolivia's new president, Evo Morales, discussed his country's fight against illegal drugs on Saturday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and then gave her a guitar decorated with coca leaves. The leftist leader of the world's third-biggest cocaine producer, who went into politics as the head of Bolivia's coca growers group, greeted Rice warmly in their first meeting since he took office in January. During his campaigning, Morales tagged himself a...

2006-03-11 14:50:00

VALPARAISO, Chile (Reuters) - Condoleezza Rice knew coca would top the agenda in her meeting with Bolivia's new president, but she likely wasn't expecting to get the real thing. At the end of their 25-minute meeting, President Evo Morales presented the U.S. secretary of state with an Andean guitar that bore a coca-leaf inlay. "The gift was well received. We will just have to check with our customs to see what rules apply. We certainly hope we can bring it back (to Washington)," said a senior...

2006-03-11 14:15:00

By Sue Pleming VALPARAISO, Chile -- New Bolivian President Evo Morales, who has called himself a nightmare for Washington, put aside public differences with the United States on Saturday and held his first meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Anxious to prove Washington does not hold grudges against Latin America's growing tide of left-wing leaders, Rice met briefly with Morales before the inauguration of Chile's first woman president, Michelle Bachelet of the leftist Socialist...

Word of the Day
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'