» » Bolivians Now Have the UN's Blessing to Enjoy their Coca Leaf

    Bolivians Now Have the UN's Blessing to Enjoy their Coca Leaf


    [Bolivia said on Friday it had been re-admitted to the U.N. anti-narcotics convention after persuading member states to recognize the right of its indigenous people to chew raw coca leaf, which is used in making cocaine.

    President Evo Morales had faced opposition from Washington in his campaign against the classification of coca as an illicit drug.

    [The coca leaf has accompanied indigenous peoples for 6,000 years], said Dionisio Nunez, Bolivia's deputy minister of coca and integrated development. [Coca leaf was never used to hurt people. It was used as medicine]. – Reuters


    Coca growers chew coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Coca growers chew coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. [The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (...), it is a victory of our identity] said Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    View of a pie made with coca flour reading "Long live the sacred coca leaf" during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    View of a pie made with coca flour reading [Long live the sacred coca leaf] during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    A man looks at a bottle of an energy drink made with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    A man looks at a bottle of an energy drink made with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    A woman fills bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    A woman fills bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    Women stand next to a pie made with coca flour during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Women stand next to a pie made with coca flour during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    Desserts made with coca leaves are seen during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Desserts made with coca leaves are seen during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    An Aymara indigenous woman chews coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    An Aymara indigenous woman chews coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    Women throw coca leaves into the air during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Women throw coca leaves into the air during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    Coca growers celebrate the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Coca growers celebrate the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




    Coca growers fill bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


    Coca growers fill bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)


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Bolivians Now Have the UN's Blessing to Enjoy their Coca Leaf


[Bolivia said on Friday it had been re-admitted to the U.N. anti-narcotics convention after persuading member states to recognize the right of its indigenous people to chew raw coca leaf, which is used in making cocaine.

President Evo Morales had faced opposition from Washington in his campaign against the classification of coca as an illicit drug.

[The coca leaf has accompanied indigenous peoples for 6,000 years], said Dionisio Nunez, Bolivia's deputy minister of coca and integrated development. [Coca leaf was never used to hurt people. It was used as medicine]. – Reuters


Coca growers chew coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Coca growers chew coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. [The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (...), it is a victory of our identity] said Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




View of a pie made with coca flour reading "Long live the sacred coca leaf" during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


View of a pie made with coca flour reading [Long live the sacred coca leaf] during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




A man looks at a bottle of an energy drink made with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


A man looks at a bottle of an energy drink made with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




A woman fills bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


A woman fills bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




Women stand next to a pie made with coca flour during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Women stand next to a pie made with coca flour during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




Desserts made with coca leaves are seen during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Desserts made with coca leaves are seen during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




An Aymara indigenous woman chews coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


An Aymara indigenous woman chews coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




Women throw coca leaves into the air during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Women throw coca leaves into the air during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




Coca growers celebrate the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Coca growers celebrate the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)




Coca growers fill bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. "The coca leaf is not any more seen as cocaine (..), it is a victory of our identity" said Bolivian President Evo Morales. AFP PHOTO/Jorge Bernal (Photo credit should read JORGE BERNAL/AFP/Getty Images)


Coca growers fill bags with coca leaves during a celebration for the reincorporation of Bolivia to the UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs in La Paz on January 14, 2013. (Photo by Jorge Bernal/AFP Photo)


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