Sobriety for voters in Ecuador
A 72-hour ban on the sale of alcoholic drink has been imposed to ensure a sober electorate in Ecuador. For details, see here.
Chocolate from a Quechua collective
According to the New York Times, Quechua indigenous people in Ecuador's Amazonian rain forest now operate the only cacao growers' collective. Their chocolate bars called Kallari (kal-YAH-ri) are available in North America. For details, see here.
Cocaine and the Environment
A case study published in the Trade and Environment Database, at the American University in Washington, DC, reports that the production of cocaine in South America, especially the Andean region, has had a devastating impact on the environment. Find the full report here.
alcohol among Quichua speakers in Ecuador (book)
Barbara Y. Butler, Holy Intoxication to Drunken Dissipation: Alcohol among Quichua Speakers in Otavalo, Ecuador (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006).
Coca as Symbol and Labor Enhancer in the Andes (article)
Vicki Cassman, Larry Cartmell, Eliana Belmonte, “Coca as Symbol and Labor Enhancer in the Andes: A Historical Overview.” Drugs, labor, and colonial expansion. Ed. William Jankowiak and Daniel Bradburd. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2003, pp. 149 - 158.
Latin America's "wrong left" and drug trafficking
Jorge G. Castañeda, in the May/June 2006 issue of Foreign Affairs, counsels Washington and the international community on what they should do about "Latin America's left turn." Castañeda characterizes his "wrong left" with many "moral" problems, including the tolerance of drug trafficking.
The international community should also clarify what it expects from the "wrong left," given that it exists and that attempts to displace it would be not only morally unacceptable but also pragmatically ineffective. The first point to emphasize is that Latin American governments of any persuasion must abide by their countries' commitments regarding human rights and democracy. The region has built up an incipient scaffolding on these matters over recent years, and any backsliding, for whatever reason or purpose, should be met by a rebuke from the international community. The second point to stress is that all governments must continue to comply with the multilateral effort to build a new international legal order, one that addresses, among other things, the environment, indigenous people's rights, international criminal jurisdiction (despite Washington's continued rejection of the International Criminal Court and its pressure on several Latin American governments to do the same), nuclear nonproliferation, World Trade Organization rules and norms, regional agreements, and the fight against corruption, drug trafficking, and terrorism, consensually defined. Europe and the United States have enormous leverage in many of these countries. They should use it.
Full text here.
Posted by Jon on May 2, 2006 at 12:44 PM in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cannabis, Chile, Coca Leaf, Cocaine, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Drugs (general), Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela | Permalink
Guatemalan opium plantations found
Police discovered 200 hectares (nearly 500 acres) planted with opium poppies in the northwestern Guatemalan province of San Marcos, authorities said Thursday.
The Daily Journal reports.
Paul Theroux's brand-new novel, Blinding Light, describes a drug-hunting trip to Ecuador. From Roz Shea's review for bookreporter.com:
Slade Steadman is a One Book Wonder who has been resting on his laurels since his bestselling travel book, TRESPASSING, made him a millionaire 20 years ago. The royalties from tie-ins through a clothing line, camping gear, movie and TV serialization have set him up in a mansion on Martha's Vineyard through continued residuals and unlimited access to the world of the rich and famous. It also has created impotence and mind-boggling boredom, and worst of all, acute writer's block. Try as he may, he cannot come up with even the bare bones of an idea for a follow-up book, despite the urging of his agent and publisher.
His girlfriend Ava, a Boston gynecologist, hears of a drug tour to Ecuador where they will be transported to a remote tribal village deep within the jungle interior to partake in a secret ceremony involving a hallucinatory drug. Steadman sees the spark of an idea for another travel adventure book, and agrees. They join a small group of thrill seekers in search of ayahausca, which is reputed to unleash creative powers.
The book has already received numerous reviews. Links for them in extended body.
- Paul Baumann, Chicago Tribune
- Amazon reviews
- Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times
- Hari Kunzu, New York Times
- Mark Athitakis, Chicago Sun-Times
- Stephen J. Lyons, San Francisco Chronicle
- Mike Fisher, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Colombian police find cocaine-smuggling submarine
Reuters reports (25 March 2005) from Bogota that Colombian police found a homemade submarine capable of carrying $200 million worth of cocaine on a Pacific Ocean smuggling mission. Police, who acted on a tip, made no arrests after finding the submarine hidden in the port of Tumaco, near the border with Ecuador. Find the full story here.
Largest Global Supplier of Sugar, Cocoa and Coffee Transforms Organic Marketplace
PR Newswire reports (18 March 2005) that the world's leading merchant of cocoa, sugar and coffee, has formed Corigins, a new US-based supplier of the highest quality, traceable ingredients to the rapidly expanding organic and natural foods sector. Corigins will have access to ED&F Man's global network of 4,000 employees in 90 countries, and will provide food manufacturers with ingredients such as certified organic sugar from Costa Rica, Fair Trade and organic cocoa from Ecuador, and natural and organic sugars from around the world. Find the full story here.