COCA GROWER IS NEW ANTIDRUG OFFICIAL
LA PAZ -- Bolivia's new leftist government swore in a coca grower as Deputy Minister of Social Defense, a post that oversees the fight against drug trafficking in this impoverished Andean nation.
Felipe Cáceres, former mayor of Villa Tunari town in Bolivia's coca-growing Chapare region, was inaugurated as deputy minister late Friday in a ceremony led by Alicia Muñoz, Bolivia's first female interior minister.<
Evo-apologists from the stupid-left like Jim Schultz, routinely gloss over the shenanigans of the cocaleros in Chapare. But the facts are undisputed: most of the coca produced there goes to illegal cocaine production. The Cocalero unions, who control local municipalities and represent many growers, have fought efforts to erradicate this illegal coca production through bribery, intimidation and outright violence. Farmers who sign on for alternative crop programs have been intimidated and attacked, alleged informants have been summarily executed by Cocalero thugs, and alternative crop posts have been burned and ransacked. In sum, MAS operates as a mafia in Chapare, and this is the culture from which this official emerges.