By Thomas Grisaffi and Kathryn Ledebur for Stability Journal.
For over two decades the US has funded repressive forced coca eradication in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia to reduce the illegal cocaine trade. These policies have never met their stated goals and have generated violence and poverty. In 2006 Bolivia definitively broke with the US anti-narcotics model, replacing the militarized eradication of coca crops with a community-based coca control strategy. The program substantially reduced the coca crop while simultaneously respecting human rights and allowing farmers to diversify their livelihoods. This article outlines the elements of the Bolivian initiative that ensure its continued successful functioning. It explores to what extent this model can be translated to other Andean contexts.