First Friday Brunch: “The Political and Social Implications of Coca Production in Bolivia”

Date(s) - Friday, Jan 03, 2014
11:00 am

Audubon Center & Sanctuary


“The Political and Social Implications of Coca Production in Bolivia” will be the topic of First Friday Lunch Bunch at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 3 at the Jamestown Audubon Center & Sanctuary, 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

Caleb Johnson will discuss the current situation regarding coca, how much of it goes into cocaine production, and the impact on United States-led counternarcotic operations within Bolivia as a result.

A senior at Houghton College, Johnson is majoring in International Relations and History with minors in Economics and Spanish. He has traveled widely, to the Balkans, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and, most recently, Bolivia. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall and pursue a master’s degree in International Affairs. He has been attending Audubon programs since he was three and has volunteered in Audubon youth programs and at other events over the years.

Coca has been an integral part of numerous indigenous populations in the Andes region for centuries, used for both medical and spiritual purposes. With the rise of anti-drug operations, pressure has grown on the Bolivian government to eradicate coca production in the country. As the leader of the cocalero (coca leaf growers) union, Bolivian President Evo Morales has vigorously fought off opposition from countries such as the United States and won an exemption from the United Nations, allowing coca production to continue.

Following the program, coffee and tea will be provided for a BYO brown bag lunch. The fee for attending is $8 for the public or $6 for Friends of the Nature Center. Reservations are not required.

For more information, call (716) 569-2345 or visit the website.