Bolivia Under Pressure

Human Rights Violations and Coca Eradication

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In 1995, under strong pressure from the U.S., the Bolivian government began an aggressive coca eradication effort that was strongly resisted by coca growers. Periods of negotiation alternated with outbursts of violence in the Chapare, the sub-tropical region in which thousands of poor farmers produce most of the Bolivian coca. In its efforts to quell their opposition to eradication and to meet its eradication goals, the Bolivian government has engaged in serious human rights abuses such as excessive use of force, arbitrary detention, and the suppression of peaceful demonstrations. The primary agents of this abuse are troops of the Mobil Rural Patrol Unit, the rural antinarcotics police controlled by the Ministry of Government.

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