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Bolivia's African king speaks for coca growers

Posted on December 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .
BoliviaAmong the coca-growing peasants of Bolivia's Yungas region (the country's prime legal cultivation zone) is a substantial Afro-Bolivian population—descendants of slaves who were brought in by the Spanish colonialists to work in the silver mines and haciendas centuries ago. Some have inter-married with the indigenous Aymara people of the Yungas, forming a distinctive Afro-Aymara culture.

Peru: medical marijuana bill signed into law

Posted on November 19th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

PeruPeru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski on Nov. 16 signed a bill to legalize the use of cannabis products and derivatives to treat medical conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. PPK, as he is popularly known, hailed the law as opening a new chapter in his country's approach to the herb. "Here we are breaking with a myth," he said, referring to marijuana's reputation as a dangerous drug. "Peru is turning several pages, moving toward modernity."

Peru: will medical marijuana include herbaceous cannabis?

Posted on October 3rd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

PeruThe dilemma now faced by several US states concerning whether "medical marijuana" need include actual herbaceous cannabis is about to hit the South American nation of Peru. Law 982/2016 is advancing through the country's Congress, and is headed for an imminent floor vote. The push for the new law was launched after a police raid in Lima earlier this year on a collective known as Buscando Esperanza (Seeking Hope)—made up mostly of mothers who were producing cannabis oils for their offspring suffering from cancer, epilepsy and the like. The bill cleared the congressional Defense Committee, that concerned with internal security, in mid-September.

Colombia: cocaleros resist forced eradication

Posted on September 7th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ColombiaColombia's government—under pressure from Washington—is pushing ahead with plans to forcibly eradicate 50,000 hectares of coca leaf this year, despite mounting resistance from the peasant growers. In several incidents over the past weeks, forced eradication sparked violent confrontations between cocaleros and security forces. Even so-called "voluntary eradication" is now meeting with protest, as campesinos say their communities are being flooded with National Police troops, in violations of their pacts with the government.

Venezuela massacre latest sign of Latin America prison crisis

Posted on August 17th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

VenezuelaAt least 37 were killed as a prison in southern Venezuela exploded into rebellion, authorities said Aug. 16. The death toll at the facility in the jungle town of Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas state, was first reported by the advocacy group Venezuelan Prison Observatory and later confirmed by the Interior Ministy. The violence began when inmates seized the facility and security forces were sent in to retake it.

Colombian coca production in record-breaking jump

Posted on July 16th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .
coca In unsettling news for the country's peace process with the FARC guerillas, Colombia registered a record-shattering 50% increase in coca-leaf cultivation last year, according to the latest report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The figures, released by UNODC's Integrated Illicit Crops Monitoring System (SIMCI) and reported by Bogotá daily El Tiempo July 14, show 146.000 hectares under coca cultivation in 2016, compared to 96.000 in 2015—actually a 52% jump.

Colombia: new push to resume glyphosate spraying

Posted on June 8th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .
cocaA new ruling by Colombia's top court may open the way for a resumption of glyphosate spraying to wipe out coca crops, which was suspended in 2015 due to health concerns—in defiance of much pressure from Washington. In the May 25 decision, a two-judge panel of the Constitutional Court did order that the suspension of the fumigation program be continued. But it also ordered the government to conduct a "prior consultation" with campesino communities to establish acceptable terms for spraying. 

Peru: new coca eradication effort met with guerilla attack

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

PeruAnnouncement of an aggressive new coca-eradication campaign in Peru was met with a deadly attack on security forces in the targeted production zone. Authorities said "narco-terrorists" attacked a National Police patrol in the Apurímac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM), leaving two troops dead. The VRAEM, a pocket of jungle on the eastern slopes of the Andes, is believed to produce some 75% of Peru's coca leaf, but the government has until now resisted US pressure to launch an eradication program there, for fear of enflaming the tense situation in the valley. A surviving remnant of the Shining Path insurgency remains active in the VRAEM, offering cocaleros protection from security forces in exchange for their loyalty.

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