Ova Morales and Coca in Bolivia


Coca is a plant in the family ‘Erythroxylaceae’ that originated in North-Western South America; it is used as a raw material in the production of cocaine which is a great stimulant. It should be noted that traditionally coca was used as a stimulant to reduce exhaustion, starvation and thirst; but currently, it has caused a lot of social weakening in the countries where it is produced and used. In this case, because of coca’s trafficking and distribution; it is deemed to have connections with drug abuse and trafficking as well as crimes resulting out of drug abuse. Despite the fact that some people view the coca plant as harmful to human beings, because of its association with cocaine which is a hard drug, thus used is used industrially in the cosmetic and food industries in South America. In this case, coca is used as a flavoring ingredient in food industries like Coca-Cola. Additionally, among the Bolivia native people; coca is considered important religiously where they pursue the making and adoration of coca beans when they are prepared. Based on this, the figure of Bolivia’s present president Ova Morales is appropriate in terms of making the growth of coca legal in Bolivia. In this case, Morales provided a set of programs to guard mastership of planting coca by the last beneficiaries of the Inca. As a result, the defense on doing common activities within some small community of people provides huge risks for the state of humanity.

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Main discussion

In this case, it is of significance to examine coca which is a plant growing impulsively in the Andes (Peru, Bolivia, and Chile among others). Based on this, the plant itself is chiefly small with thumb-shaped leaves. Additionally, it is dried up to be chewed along with slices of lime, which as a result makes the chewer to be in a state of trance and elation. It can also be argued that the result of this mixture has some side effects on one’s health which may be described as effects from cocaine.

It should be noted that the historical tribes of Inca were known to grow coca for the purposes of rituals and rites, practiced long ago and which still are in practice. Importantly, the native people of Bolivia considered the normal chewing of coca not as hazardous but as an aspect of affiliation. In conjunction with this, many people view coca negatively because of the cocaine extracted from it that possesses a lot of risks to its consumers. Contrary to this, the consumption of coca has not been recorded as one of the hazard activities among the people living in Bolivia. Based on this, the Bolivian president Ova Morales requested the UN to get rid of the coca leaf from the prohibited drug list; claiming that coca is part of his country’s culture and distinctiveness.

In this case, the Bolivian president invokes quite opposite attitudes towards the policy of ‘cocalero’ across Bolivia. This is because; he thought that such century-long activity of the native culture in the country had no negative effects on the society. From this, the president claimed that the activity of growing coca should be considered as one that goes closer to what representatives of Inca are good at. It can further be argued that Morales is an Aymara Indian who shares interests of native people growing coca and herding Llamas in the height of Andes (Vera-Zavala, 2005). From this, his policy that supports almost 62% of the nation goes with the international agreements in some cases putting into consideration the present development of Latin America (Vera-Zavala, 2005).

It can further be argued that according to Morales, the planting of coca plants is part of the cultural heritage of the Bolivians. In this relation, it is said that his personal activity in Movimiento al Socialismo-Movement for Socialism (MAS) has a philosophy of the correct comprehension of what coca means to Indians of Bolivia (Telegraph, 2010). Moreover, Morales persuaded the majority of the Bolivians that coca’s main purpose was medical as well as maintaining the Andean culture. Based on this, the Bolivian constitution got through the process of several amendments stating on the ‘cultural patrimony’ of coca. In this respect, the Bolivian president needed to consider the consequences of coca through cocaine worldwide.

It should be noted that coca planters in Bolivia were faced with the threat of being destructed in their plantations and firms; while the coca demonstrations of peasants that appeared several times in Bolivia were being stopped by the administration. On the other hand, coca unions were at risk of a total ban; but Morales at his time in power improved the place of coca in the national economy. Importantly, the part of the territory for coca plants harvested in the year 2008 was 30,500 hectares; but this has been increasing yearly by roughly six percent (Telegraph, 2010). Despite the fact that this is the only chance for the last four years of Morales presidency, he became very popular in Bolivia for legalizing coca growing.

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It can further be argued that from the film ‘cocalero’ by Alejandro Landes; there was direct participation of the Bolivian president in promising peasants to defend the growing of coca by making first reforms in the agricultural sector. It should further be noted that ordinary Bolivians were all involved in such hard drug-producing kinds of crops growing throughout the Andes. Shifting the common stereotypes of the use of coca, the key attention is grabbed in the film by saving the native Bolivians from poverty. In this case, this idea is well-grounded by the fact that Indians are the majority of the Bolivian population.

From a personal perspective, the position of Morales toward giving more legal grounds for the growing coca concerns only the internal side of the issue, where only the Bolivians benefits while the rest of the world is affected. In this case, it can be argued that the planting of coca only saves the Bolivian economy, culture and identity; while the rest of the world suffers from the effects of the cocaine extracted from the coca plant. From this, it can be said that the harm generated from the abuse of cocaine which is extracted from coca; is pervasively huge since it touches upon not only thousands but millions of lives.

It is of importance to note that, the company of Morales following the plan ‘Zero cocaine but not zero coca’ ended up in terrific outcomes. This is evident from the BBC News in 2009 where it was stated that “in the past four years, coca production has increased but; so too has the production of cocaine”. As a result of his promises, Morales was supported greatly by coca unionists during his election campaign. From this, it can be argued that the outcome of his victory as a pro-coca leader led to increased cocaine production by allowing the planting of the coca plant in Bolivia.

One can argue that, in the case, coca being a non-threat for the native Bolivian people; then there should be no neglect for the inner intentions of human beings to gain more profits. From this, it can be said that the crops of coca exceed greatly the profits obtained by Bolivian coca growers. Further, in the rest of the other countries; coca is not considered as having medicinal value but as one that produces hard and expensive drugs called cocaine. In this case, it can be argued that, if Bolivia is going to be allowed to grow coca; it would be termed as a country producing the cocaine drug although indirectly. This is evident from the Bolivian police report of the discovery of one of the multiple cocaine labs capable of producing 220 pounds of cocaine a day (Regalado, 2009). From this, it can be argued that by growing coca in the attempt of saving a 3,000 year culture of the Inca people; there is no saving of the large scope of human beings worldwide from the effects of the cocaine produced from the coca plant.

On the other hand, there is an argument concerning the fact that such culturally and nationally grounded perspectives; will be likely to grow in the opposite side of the country’s economy. It should be further noted that in an attempt to reduce poverty among the Indians; Morales raised the profits of cocaine barons which was a threat for the countries assigned upon NAFTA. Additionally; the economies of the major part of Latin American countries seem to be corrupted, narcotic traffic is perpetually going on in rates. In this case, by solving internal social problems; Morales is likely to forget about the hazardous effects of the inexpedient use of coca inside as well as out of the country.


To wind up, the situation over the growing coca in Bolivia grew significantly since Morales has become the president of the country. In this case following his Indian originality, he was likely to defend the interests and struggle of the native people across the country and its Andean part in particular. Based on this, such an amendment in the course of the country’s development represents a real danger for other American countries as well as the world as a whole.

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