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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 10, 2010

BOLIVIA PLANNING REAL COCA IN COLA

Telegraph, UK - Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president and known for chewing coca leaves at UN meetings, has launched a drink featuring the leaf called "Coca Colla".

Intended to rival its more famous US cousin the fizzy drink is at the centre of a plan coca growers from Chapare in central Bolivia submitted to the government last week to boost coca production.

Farmers proposed the name Coca Colla in reference to people living in the Andean part of the country.

The project will be launched in four months and could be either run by the state or a joint partnership with coca growers.

Officials said the drink's packaging would feature a black swoosh and red label similar to the famous Coke insignia.

The fate of Coca Colla is of particular concern to La Paz, which wants to expand coca cultivation. Tea, flour, toothpaste and liquor are already being produced using a coca base.

Coca leaves have been cultivated in the Andes mountains for 3,000 years and are part of the culture and identity of the people there, according to Mr Morales, who has said some 10 million people in the Andes chew "sacred" coca leaves. The International Narcotics Control Board has called for years for a ban on coca leaf chewing.


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