|Current Issue: |
March 06, 2003
News News, events, features Science/Research Latest scientific findings Profiles The people behind the university Community Harvard and neighbor communities Sports Scores, highlights, upcoming games On Campus Newsmakers, notes, students, police log Arts Museums, concerts, theater Calendar Two-week listing of upcoming events
HARVARD GAZETTE ARCHIVES Coca leaves are used to make tea, cakes, and natural medicines, and can be traded to buy potatoes and other staples. (Staff photo by Kris Snibbe)
Bolivian peasants suffer in drug war, speaker says:
Coca plant's traditional uses make indigenous peasants targets By Alvin Powell
What America bills as a "War on Drugs" at home is executed as a war on peasants in the Bolivian Andes, the leader of a peasant coalition told a Kennedy School of Government audience on Friday (Feb. 28). "Defending coca for [us] is defending [our] land, it's the same struggle. It's defending our culture, our health," said Leonida Zurita Vargas, leader of the National Federation of Women Peasants in Bolivia. "We are fighting against the eradication of our culture." Zurita, speaking Spanish with an English translator, addressed about 40 people crowded into the Center for International Development's Perkins Room during a lunchtime talk that lasted more than an hour.