Coca growers in turf battle

(LaPresse) Coca leaf growers clashed with police in Bolivia during a protest rally in the capital La Paz. Officers in riot gear responded by firing tear gas into the crowd in an attempt to disperse the protesters. Representatives of the AdepCoca group accuse the government of backing a rival union of coca leaf growers that has opened a new market a few blocks away from the first one, which they consider illegal. AdepCoca operates the main market for coca leaves in the Bolivian capital and claims to be the only market authorized to trade them. The coca leaf trade is legal in Bolivia and takes place in markets specifically designated by law and run by coca growers’ unions.

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