Coca Growers and the State: Bolivia's Policy in Crisis
Since the adoption of Law 1008 in 1988, Bolivia's government has organized a campaign to eradicate coca crops in an effort to reduce drug trafficking in the Andean region of South America. Destruction of crops is usually carried out by the Bolivian military or special police forces with support from the United States. However, the policies adopted by these agencies sometimes result in egregious abuses of human rights including unwarranted search and seizure of property, torture, and death. This thesis examines the importance of coca to traditional Andean society as a vital part of indigenous culture and stresses that coca leaf is not cocaine. An examination of the coca eradication campaign follows, including the militarization of the U.S.-backed War on Drugs. The role of the military in Bolivia is discussed, which leads to the question of whether the Bolivian military should actually be involved in the drug war.
Suggestions are made for reexamining the role of the military and the training of special police in order to reduce the incidents of human rights abuses against Bolivian peasant coca growers.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences; Coca industry -- Bolivia; Drug control -- Bolivia
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Smith, Brian, "Coca Growers and the State: Bolivia's Policy in Crisis" (2003). HIM 1990-2015. 365.