After two weeks of the violent takeover of the departmental association of coca producers (Adepcoca), this Monday the bases, the regional and self-defense committees of the coca farmers regained their legal market from the hands of the appropriate leadership and from the government, headed by Arnold Alanes. Hard confrontations between producers and police officers were the prologue for saving the place.
The residents of Villa Fatima lived tense hours. Since the morning the group of coca farmers that has joined the Movement for Socialism (MAS) has set up a meeting in the Plaza del Maestro, which is under strict protection from the police; Meanwhile, the bio group met at Villa El Carmen to begin a march to their headquarters.
Around noon, the non-government coca growing group went to their headquarters, but was greeted with a shower of tear gas. The latter responded with pups made of dynamite and stones and drove the forces of the Police Operations Tactical Unit (UTOP) back to Arapata Street, where the infrastructure of the coca farmers’ partners is located. Despite the attack, the uniformed men tried to protect the place so that the producers who refuse Alanaes would not enter.
After the intense argument, the organic producers managed to settle in their headquarters within sight and in front of the police officers who regrouped a few blocks from Adepcoca.
The tension continued in the place from the throwing of stones and chemicals, but gradually the spirits calmed down. The producers achieved their goal: to reclaim their investments from the government, although after supporting Alanes they declared that they would not support any of the parties to the dispute, as it was a private institution.
Celebrations and actions
Songs, dances and slogans were part of the celebration of the struggle and resistance of the organic coca farmers who had regained their infrastructure. This is not only a place for the commercialization of the holy leaf, but also a resting place for the members.
“Yes, it was possible” and “the Yungas on their feet, never on their knees” were the victorious cries of the producers, who later called a meeting to make decisions.
One of the most important stipulations is the formation of an election committee, which has the task of holding the internal elections in a maximum of 10 days.
On the other hand, in the absence of recognized leadership, it was determined that during this period the regional governments would be responsible for managing the legal coca market.
According to a report by Urgente.bo, members of the Yungas self-defense committee denounced that after 15 days of Arnold Alanes running Adepcoca, at least 200 cans of coca had disappeared from the sheds that run the coca market, and documentaries were also released and took computers.
“I would like to report that 10 cans of coca from their partners’ sheds were found in the room where Alanes slept, and that the room where the Adepcoca file was kept was ransacked. They blew up doors, there are no computers in the room where Armin Lluta slept, he was looted, ”said one of the Yungas leaders.
Alanes and the government see the purchase of a building
Faced with the failure to maintain Adepcoca’s infrastructure, apocryphal leader Arnold Alanes asked for government assistance to buy new infrastructure and demanded that action be taken against “a group of criminals” who had taken over the coca cultivation headquarters.
After the eviction, the chairman, who was close to the MAS, held a meeting at the Ministry of Rural Development and Land, at which the purchase of a new building for the coca farmers was presumably agreed by a ministerial resolution.
Alanes believed that a commission would be set up to determine the details of the acquisition of the property set out in Article 24 of Law 906.
“There is no harm that does not come, today the conquest of a new piece of land will be historic (…). We will build a model market,” he said after leaving the offices, carried on the shoulders of a group that supported him accompanied.
This represents a new attempt to drown Villa Fátima’s legal market, as during the parallel leadership of Elena Flores, by not having access to the Adepcoca infrastructure, the government authorized the opening of land for the sale of coca.
Alanes also called on the government ministry to disrupt the “criminal and terrorist organization that was recapturing the legal coca market”.
Police report several injuries
After another day of violence in Adepcoca, police reported that coca producers “disproportionately” used dynamite and injured at least 10 soldiers.
The La Paz Police Department Commander Colonel Augusto Russo reported at least 12 injuries because the coca farmers were armed with blunt objects other than dynamite pups.
“They stopped using pups as usual, they used a whole load, a whole mass stuffed into different kinds of items, like deodorant containers and other metal objects.”