Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why Ecuador and South America despise the USA's "War on Drugs"

(NaturalNews) The U.S. "War on Drugs" is despised by almost everyone except for those who benefit from it (the DEA, prison corporations, paramilitary contractors, etc.). In South America, the War on Drugs is especially disliked for many good reasons, but to understand those reasons, you first have to grasp the importance of the coca plant and its history throughout South America.

The coca plant is a cultural treasure of South America. Used in both indigenous medicine and cultural rituals, coca is a plant with an abundance of healing and nutritional qualities. As a significant portion of the South American population (in Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, etc.) lives at high elevation, use of the coca plant for enhanced stamina and endurance has played a vital role throughout the history of the South American people.

Many North Americans think that coca has only one use: To be refined into a potent narcotic known as cocaine, but in fact this is not an indigenous use of the plant -- that is an abuse of the gifts this plant has to offer. The isolation, extraction and potency magnification of the original plant alkaloids to the point of toxicity is not the way this plant has been traditionally used throughout South American history.

Coca tea is very much a part of the culture, and it's coca tea that will keep you alive and conscious when you're scaling a mountain at 14,000 feet and feel like you're going to lose consciousness. I've been on numerous hikes through Ecuador and Peru that would have been impossible without the medicinal support of locally grown coca tea.

Coca tea is much like green tea: It's made from whole plant leaves, it has a green taste, and it's highly medicinal. Unlike cocaine, coca tea isn't addictive and is perfectly safe to consume. As a medicinal tea, it's also perfectly legal virtually everywhere in the Americas except for the United States -- a country with a bizarre fascination for throwing people in prison for smoking, drinking or just carrying unrefined herbs plucked right from the earth.

The United Nations has also been on a mission to eradicate the coca plant from the planet. As Wikipedia explains: (

The prohibition of the use of the coca leaf except for medical or scientific purposes was established by the United Nations in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The coca leaf is listed on Schedule I of the 1961 Single Convention together with cocaine and heroin. The Convention determined that "The Parties shall so far as possible enforce the uprooting of all coca bushes which grow wild. They shall destroy the coca bushes if illegally cultivated" (Article 26), and that, "Coca leaf chewing must be abolished within twenty-five years from the coming into force of this Convention" (Article 49, 2.e).

This is much the same way that the Spanish conquistadors systematically wiped out the planting and harvesting of quinoa, outlawing it and arresting or killing anyone caught planting it. Western European imperialists have always pursued efforts to destroy the native plants used by Central and South American cultures.

Dropping chemicals on family farms
As is typical of U.S. interventionist policies, the United States has spent many hundreds of millions of dollars (and many years) financing aerial drug raids against coca farms located in Colombia. This involves the spraying of highly toxic chemicals directly onto family farms, homes and even small children who happen to be present at the time of the spraying. Although much of this spraying is "officially" limited only to farms in Colombia, borders have been crossed and a significant portion of the poison has landed on family farms in Northern Ecuador

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