Subsistence-Based, Non-Repressive Drug Programs Actually Work

There is half as much coca in Bolivia than both Peru and Colombia, where forced eradication persists. How does Bolivia do it? (Audio)

Mario Murillo

The U.S.-backed war on drugs in the Andean region has been the target of much criticism in recent years, as policy analysts question the costs, both in terms of money spent, and in its social impact on local communities. The militarization of countries like Peru and Bolivia region as a solution to the illicit drug trade has not taken into account alternative approaches, or input from the communities most affected by the problem. But in Bolivia, some interesting developments have taken hold within indigenous communities that might serve as a model for countries.

Mario Murillo with cohost Natalia Orozco spoke with Kathryn Ledebur, the Director of the Andean Information Network based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, who has written extensively about the U.S. drug war in Bolivia. She’s the co-author of a report “To the beat of a Different Drum: Bolivia’s community coca control,” published in the latest edition of NACLA's Report on the Americas, Reimagining Drug Policy in the Americas.



Mario A. Murillo is associate professor of communication and chair of the Department of Radio, Television, Film of Hofstra University. He is the author of Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest and Destabilization (Seven Stories Press, 2004). He blogs at



Read the rest of NACLA's 2014 Summer Issue "Reimagining Drug Policy in the Americas"

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