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The white factory: coca, cocaine and informal governance in the Chapare, Bolivia

Grisaffi, T. (2021) The white factory: coca, cocaine and informal governance in the Chapare, Bolivia. In: Arias, D. E. and Grisaffi, T. (eds.) Cocaine: from coca fields to the streets. Duke University Press, Durham NC. ISBN 9781478013723 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://www.dukeupress.edu/cocaine

Abstract/Summary

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
Refereed:Yes
Divisions: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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