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Drugs and ThugsThe History and Future of America's War on Drugs$
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Russell Crandall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300240344

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300240344.001.0001

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Bolivian Backlash

Bolivian Backlash

(p.259) 17 Bolivian Backlash
Drugs and Thugs

Russell Crandall

Yale University Press

This chapter provides an overview of Bolivia's age-old social and political instability that had been on full display in the years leading up to the ascendancy of Evo Morales. It talks about Morales, an indigenous Bolivian who had risen to power in 2005 and was best-known to Americans for his efforts to modify the country's long-standing anti-drug programs. It also mentions how U.S. ambassador Manuel Rocha told the Bolivians that the United States would have to reconsider its sizable counternarcotics assistance if the Bolivians elected a candidate who was soft on the drug question. The chapter recalls that the global demand for cocaine in the early 1980s sparked a massive spike in cultivation, particularly in Chapare, a region straddling the area between La Paz and the eastern city of Santa Cruz. It looks at Washington's response to Bolivia's coca boom in the late 1980s that pressured successive governments to implement rigorous anti-drug programs.

Keywords:   Evo Morales, Bolivia, anti-drug programs, Manuel Rocha, cocaine, coca boom

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