Cuaderno de Trabajo N° 55: Turning Over a New Leaf: Regional Applicability of Innovative Drug Crop Control Policy in The Andes.

Thomas Grisaffi, Linda Farthing, Kathryn Ledebur, Maritza Paredes, Álvaro Pastor

This article considers coca control and development strategies in Bolivia and Peru through the intersection of participatory development, social control and the relationship between growers and the state. Bolivia has emerged as a world leader in formulating a participatory, non-violent model in confronting the cocaine trade. Between 2006-2019 the government limited coca production through community-level control. Our study finds that not only has Bolivia’s model proven more effective in reducing coca acreage than repression, but it has effectively expanded social and civil rights in hitherto marginal regions. In contrast, Peru has continued to conceptualize ‘drugs’ as a crime and security issue. This focus has led to U.S.-financed forced crop eradication, putting the burden of the ‘War on Drugs’ onto impoverished farmers, and generating violence and instability.