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As part of his tour of Peru, the former president of Bolivia met with coca leaf producers in that nation.
The former president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, who is in Peru for the inauguration of President Pedro Castillo, questioned the anti-drug policy pursued by the United States government and said it is time to relaunch the Andean Council of Coca Leaf Producers.
According to the Bolivian leader, "where there is a U.S. military base, drug trafficking grows. (...) We have closed the military bases, and we are better in the fight against this phenomenon, all without the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and without the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)."
The former president added that, with its military bases, Washington manages to control "the State, the nation and the peoples" to appropriate natural resources. However, it claims that it is trying to control drug trafficking.
In a meeting with Peruvian coca leaf producers, Morales insisted on the vindication of this leaf, which is attributed with nutritional and medicinal properties in its natural state.
He recognized and regretted that, due to the illegal cocaine market, there are still those who divert part of these crops to drug trafficking, which they continue to fight.
Con los hermanos productores de hoja de coca del Perú y el hermano congresista @GuilleBermejo01 coincidimos en trabajar por la unidad. América Latina no es el patio trasero de EE.UU. y esta generación tiene la respuesta: América Plurinacional es de los pueblos para los pueblos. pic.twitter.com/NRCwclWwGU
"With brother coca leaf growers of Peru and brother congressman @GuilleBermejo01, we agree to work for unity. Latin America is not the backyard of the US, and this generation has the answer: Plurinational America is of the peoples for the peoples."
Given these conditions, he considered that it is the right time to relaunch the Andean Council of Coca Leaf Producers in Bolivia and Peru, and thus send a message about this crop, he added.
Despite measures aimed at eliminating this crop in Latin America, producers have defended their right to keep it for its traditional use.
In 1994, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) stated that drinking coca tea "considered harmless and legal in several South American countries is part of an illegal activity as stipulated in the 1961 Convention and the 1988 Convention".
However, following complaints from South American countries, the INCB retracted this position in its 2007 annual report and urged all countries to abolish or prohibit the practice of coca leaf chewing and the manufacture of coca tea.