Thousands of coca leaf growers seized the main market in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, on Monday after a week-long dispute over its control. Police used tear gas in an effort to stop them.

Riot police fired volleys of tear gas, while protesters hurled stones and firecrackers, and used large garbage containers to set up makeshift barricades.Security forces were ultimately forced to retreat as farmers from a group called the Self-Defense Committee took over the market in the Villa Fatima neighborhood, where 90% of the country’s legal coca leaf is traded, according to the UN.AFP reported that two protesters and two members of the security forces were injured.A group of coca leaf growers from Bolivia’s Las Yungas region is fighting for control of the market with a rival faction reportedly allied with authorities. Las Yungas enjoyed a monopoly on legal coca leaf growing until 2017, when then-President Evo Morales legalized coca production in his home region of Cochabamba.The clashes on Monday followed weeks of protests by indigenous activists who demand that the government respect the rights and customs of their land.“We decided to fight to recover our coca market. We showed that we are the true traditional producers, and not that [pro-government] group that wanted to settle illegally and subject us to the government,” the Departmental Association of Coca Producers (ADEPCOCA) tweeted on Monday.Local media quoted the leader of a rival faction, Arnold Alanez, as saying he will purchase a new property to function as marketplace.Coca leaf growers previously clashed with police last month, when several patrol cars were torched.Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Source link

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Keep up to date and get notified on new posts!

You May Also Like

France threatens to cut power to UK’s Channel Islands in row over fishing licenses

620Views France has said it could cut power to the British Crown…

Japan’s holidaymakers should refrain from domestic travel – top doctors’ association

672Views Regional governments in Japan should act independently to contain a resurgence…

‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero convicted on terror-related charges for backing rebel group while in exile — RT World News

343Views 67-year-old Paul Rusesabagina has been convicted by a Rwandan court of…

Philippines’ Duterte orders officials to get his consent before attending Senate probes, accused of trying to ward off scrutiny — RT World News

333Views Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered that members of his cabinet…