Coca growers violently clash with riot policemen in La Paz as the government redefines which coca plantations are legal in a move demonstrators say favors only certain regions. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Bolivian coca growers clash with riot police in La Paz, Tuesday... angry over a draft government bill that would legalize 20,000 hectares of land for the growing of coca leaves. And that, protesters say, would introduce unwelcome competition for the Los Yungas coca growers. The bill extends legality of around 7,000 hectares of land in the El Chapare region, where their President, Evo Morales, was also the leader of an illegal coca growers union before taking office. Clashes heated up Monday and went into the night... with dozens reportedly arrested and one person seriously injured. The government says increasing the land is necessary to satisfy the local market... but these protesters say, they want Morales to hear them out.