Wednesday, September 03, 2008

USAID-funded Justice Program Still Operates with Coca Grower Support

Something Simon Romero didn't pick up on during his visit to the Chapare.

Andean Information Network, Aug 20 2008

The USAID-funded Centro de Justicia in Chimoré is still in operation, although Chapare coca growers decided to sign no further alternative development agreements with US agency in June 2008. The Justice Ministry Office – which offers basic legal services to Chapare residents – continues to operate without opposition or protest from cocaleros. This demonstrates that the decision to sign no further agreements with USAID in the Chapare was based primarily on local frustration with ineffective, alternative development aid linked to coca reduction, and is not part of a broader anti-US campaign. In short, coca growers support projects that work and that do not include political conditioning, whether or not they are funded by the United States.

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