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The white factory: coca, cocaine and political order in Bolivia

Grisaffi, T. (2021) The white factory: coca, cocaine and political order in Bolivia. In: Arias, D. and Grisaffi, T. (eds.) The Moral Economy of the Cocaine Trade. Duke University Press, Durham NC. (In Press)

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Thomas Grisaffi’s chapter focuses on coca cultivation and cocaine paste production in the Chapare region of Bolivia. Grisaffi explains that the coca leaf has myriad traditional uses in indigenous Andean culture but the bulk of the local crop ends up in the maceration pit to be transformed into cocaine. The chapter illustrates how cocaine paste production is an accepted and normal aspect of daily life in the region. It generates a market for coca leaf, high levels of employment in production and smuggling, and the cocaine dollars trickle down to support a large informal sector. Drug production and trafficking is organized through extended kinship networks, making it a closed business. Grisaffi argues that as a result of the presence of the strong agricultural unions that protect coca grower interests, the Chapare has not experienced the kind of chaos, violence and disorder witnessed at others sites along cocaine’s commodity chain.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:85325
Publisher:Duke University Press

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