New clashes were registered in Bolivia and the crisis for control of the coca market is intensifying

New clashes in Bolivia for control of the coca market
New clashes in Bolivia for control of the coca market

The coca crisis in Bolivia continued this Tuesday with clashes between demonstrators and the Policeman and a criminal complaint from the sector that manages the so-called “parallel market” for coca leaves against the block that has held a protest for 23 days against the operation of that trade.

the leader Arnold Alaneswho is assumed to be the legitimate leader of the Departmental Association of Coca Producers (Adepcoca) of La Paz, close to the ruling party, denounced for “public instigation to commit a crime” to Freddy Machicadothe main representative of the block of that organization that defines itself as independent.

“We have been victims of harassment, violence and dynamite blows” and “We are presenting (the complaint) in an emergency, given all the violence we have suffered”Alanes assured the media at the gates of the La Paz Prosecutor’s Office.

Manager Arnold Alanes
Manager Arnold Alanes

This leader vindicated what he considers to be his condition of “legality” before Machicado, whom he accused of “lying” to the coca growers of La Paz and the Bolivian population for supposedly assuming a representation that is not “legal.”


“I don’t care what this individual does (Alanes),” Machicado told the media after learning about the complaint and He insisted on the need for the Government to “comply with the law” and “respect” Adepcoca’s independence.

Bolivian law recognizes only two legal markets for the sale of coca leaves for traditional consumption (ritual and medicinal) and they are Sacaba in Cochabamba and Villa Fátima in La Paz.

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The coca conflict dates back to September of last year when Alanes was elected as leader of Adepcoca and later recognized by the government, while another sector rejected him as its representative precisely because of that official endorsement.

At that moment, Alanes took over the administration of the traditional market, but a few days later a massive protest by coca growers managed to regain control of that shortly after, a new coca supply center was opened near the traditional one.

The crisis for the control of the coca market in Bolivia worsens
The crisis for the control of the coca market in Bolivia worsens

Since the beginning of the month, protests by coca growers who identify with traditional production areas have been mobilized to demand that the government close the “parallel market.”


The protests have continued for several hours this day with clashes between the protesting coca growers, who use dynamite, and the response with tear gas from the Police, in the northern area of ​​the city of La Paz.

Coca grower leader Freddy Machicado
Coca grower leader Freddy Machicado

For this coming Thursday, the sector de Alanes has announced an “assembly” that will make decisions on the situation.

The same day a march of social sectors of the ruling party in defense of the Government has been calledwhile the Machicado bloc announced that it will not resign its protest until the “parallel market” closes.

Entities such as the Ombudsman’s Office have warned about the “indiscriminate use” of dynamite and tear gas and have verified the damage of the conflict in educational work in some 17 schools and almost 10,000 students affected by the disturbances.

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Various attempts at dialogue have been made to no avail due to demands from Adepcoca members not to negotiate until the “parallel market” is closed.

(With information from EFE)


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