Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bolivian Melby Paz, owner of the COINCOCA factory

Bolivian Melby Paz, owner of the COINCOCA factory that produces derivatives of coca leaves, the raw material for cocaine, shows some of her coca-based products that range from cough syrup to treatments for diabetes and obesity, in her shop in La Paz February 13, 2006. The new Bolivian government is trying to win international legitimacy for the coca leaf and make it an export commodity. That could well stir controversy because, aside from being used as a flavoring and in traditional remedies, leaves from the coca plant are also the raw material for cocaine.
REUTERS/David Mercado c/s
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1 comment:

Ryan182 said...

Although there are countries across the world being ravaged by cocaine, people need to realise that there are many Andean cultures that depend on the coca leaf for survival. There are Quechua people who cannot get through a day's gruelling work in the thin mountain air without the vitamins and minerals the leaf gives them. So high in the Andes, fruit and vegetables are scarce, and the coca leaf provides them with all the vitamins and minerals they need. You cannot just take something so old and valuable in their lives away.