Dancing to save coca in Bolivia

She wears a skirt and a shawl and dances in front of the police officers who have been fighting her people for weeks. Tía Tomasa - an Afro-Bolivian woman whose surname is Medina Flores - is the new image of the coca farmers of the Yungas, the country's main coca leaf producing region.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Tia Tomasa is a woman of an explosive nature but of absolute candor, says journalist Carlos Quisbert, who recently interviewed her. The "Yungueños," who grow 18,000 of the 22,000 permitted coca hectares, have just regained control of the Adepcoca market in La Paz, which had been dominated for 2 weeks by a group close to the government with the support of the police.

The . . .

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