U.S. anti-Morales proposal to legalize coca chewing

January 19, 2011.- U.S. government will seek international blocking the proposal by Bolivian President Evo Morales, to lift the ban of chewing coca leaves in Andean countries.

Morales in 2009 sent a letter to the UN in calling for “the decriminalization of the practice, while stressing the need to maintain strict controls on cocaine all over the world.”

But the U.S. opposes the amendment to the Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and is campaigning with strong pressures to “friendly countries” such as France, UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark to join this claim.

UNASUR supported the proposal of Evo Morales in the 2009 Declaration of Quito, which called upon the international community “to respect the ancient custom of chewing coca leaf.”

This practice is an indigenous custom, more than 2,000 years old, so organizations like WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) highlight the therapeutic properties of this practice and its social and sacred importance.

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