RealNews

U.S. fears rise in coca production under Morales

Vitalia Merida grows as much coca as Bolivian law allows her to — four-tenths of an acre, or a ”cato,” as the measure is known here. And that’s the problem. Because she obeys the legal limit, she’s stuck in dire poverty. The average yield from her field, hidden far back from a direct road, brings in just $70 to $100 a month. Now Merida and many fellow coca farmers are looking for relief from Bolivian President Evo Morales, who once grew coca not far from Merida’s little plot and remains the leader of the coca growers union in the Chapare, the tropical region that’s the center of the fight to rein in Bolivia’s production of the main ingredient in cocaine. Full Story

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