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Evo Morales celebrates that the court declares the new coca law constitutional

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, celebrated today that the Constitutional Court (TC) declared the full constitutionality of the law that extends the permitted area of ​​the cultivation of leaves of coca in the country from 12,000 to 22,000 hectares.

La Paz, Nov 11 (EFE) .- The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, today welcomed the Constitutional Court (TC) declaring the full constitutionality of the law that extends the permitted area of the coca leaf crops in the country from 12,000 to 22,000 hectares.

"We welcome the decision of the Constitutional Court to declare our Coca Law fully constitutional. Our sacred cultural, ancestral and millenary coca leaf, once proscribed and persecuted, is now valued and protected, "Morales wrote in his Twitter account, @evoespueblo.

El TC Friday issued a ruling in which he declared three articles of the new Coca General Law, promulgated last March by President Morales, constitutional, that were questioned by opponents and coca growers from the subtropical zone of the Yungas, in the department of La Paz.

The old law established a maximum limit of 12,000 hectares of legal plantations that they could only be cultivated in the Yungas.

The new norm authorizes up to 7,700 hectares of cultivation in the Chapare (Cochabamba, center), considered a non-traditional zone for plantations, and 14,300 in the department of La Paz.

The coca growers of the Yungas manifested themselves against the expansion of the hectares of crops in the Chapare, the bastion. Morales' political and trade union movement, and demanded with protests that the norm not be approved, although they only managed to expand the crops in their area by 2,300 hectares.

A large part of the Coca production of Chapare, according to international reports, does not pass through legal markets, that is why opposition parliamentarians and the Departmental Association of Coca Producers of La Paz (Adepcoca) denounced to the TC the three articles of the rule that the court declared constitutional.

Coca plantations have legal and cultural uses in Bolivia, such as the chewing of the leaf, but there are plantations that are diverted to drug trafficking for the manufacture of cocaine.

Last July, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (Unodc) reported that in 2016 coca crops increased to 23,100 hectares, 14% more than in 2015.

Members of Adepcoca will meet next week to define actions before the Constitutional ruling.

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