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Mama Coca is...

  ... a French Law 1901 Human Rights Association of the Andean Amazon Region. Its mission started in 1998 when the Clinton and Pastrana Administrations launched the Plan Colombia and Colombian academics, experts and civil society warned of the ensuing danger of escalating Colombia's internal strife to the rest of the region. It began as an informal exchange of information among academics and activists through a listserv. Seeking to inform the public at large, Mamacoca went online in 2001. Its immediate success convinced of us of the need to consolidate mamacoca as a Collective proposal. The Mama Coca Association was legally founded in France on February 11, 2003 by María Mercedes Moreno (President), Darío González Posso (Secretary) y Monica Juliana Lalinde-Ceccaroli (Treasurer). Mama Coca's consolidation has been made possible by its social peasant and indigenous leaders: Alejandro Mejía Rengifo, Lelber Dimas,  David Curtidor and Fabiola Piñacué and thanks to the Drug Policy Alliance's faith in what we represent.  MamaCoca's stated mission is to defend the Andean-Amazon Region's peasants' Human Rights by proposing knowledgeable academic and expert studies and analyses on coca and drug policies with the endeavor of reorienting regional plans towards the building of more equitable societies where peace and local empowerment may prosper. To this end, we propose respect and the inclusion of pluralism in the "drug" debate as well as freedom of speech and autonomy in the face of a multiplicity of actors involved in a cruel armed struggle fueled by the persecution of Coca. 

The Mama Coca journal went online in June 2001, referencing its authors' qualifications to address the issues dealt with in order to reassure our readers regarding the quality and veracity of our information in a virtual world where we are increasingly misinformed by unreliable sources and hoaxes. The Mama Coca web site was initially made possible thanks to the expert technical assistance and French translations of IBM executive Jean-Marc Langé. Mama Coca also owes its chance to inform online to the generosity of our host Server Globenet and its dedicated team of volunteers as well as to the open-minded possibilities offered by France, a crossroads of multiple influences. The ties among the people that have virtually developed the Colectivo Mama Coca owe their first start to Darío González Posso's experience and knowledge, Gonzalo Sánchez's encouragement and Mónica Lalinde-Ceccaroli’s dedication, conviction, levelheaded advice and hands-to-the-job volunteer work as MamaCoca's European Chargé d'affaires, French translator and legal counsel. We owe the chance to fulfill of our mission to the interest shown by our readers who have made this pluralistic debate possible by expanding our knowledge and outreach; and to so many others whose support, advice and information have made it possible for María Mercedes Moreno to serve as editor, English translator and webmaster for its online endeavor and as Executive Director of the MamaCoca Association.   

The ties among the people that have virtually developed the Colectivo Mama Coca owe their first start to the cooperation of academics from the Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales (IEPRI) de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia and to professors, such as Jaime Caycedo and Jairo Estrada and others from this same university. To journalist Ricardo Ávila's down-to-earth approach and researcher Margarita Serje's alternative outlook and Aura Mar[ia Puyana's knowledgeable advice on aerial spraying issues. To the generosity of those who have sent in their studies for this and later publications; to Professors  Bruce Bagley, Charles Bergquist and other academics from the US, Canada and France. To the timely response of Professor Pierre Salama and Alain Labrousse, founder of the former OGD and researcher Molly Charles from India. To the open-minded possibilities offered by France, a crossroads of multiple influences, and to the Institute des Hautes Études de l'Amérique Latine (IHEAL) and its contribution to a pluridisciplinary approach of Latin America's issues. To Jean-Michel Blanquer, former director of the Paris Institute for Higher Latin American Studies. To our Bolivian colleagues Dionicio Nuñez and Nelson Carvajal. To Mama Coca Friends, our dear Peruvian colleagues Baldomero Cáceres, Nancy Obregón Peralta y Hugo Cabieses. To dedicated researchers such as María Clemencia Ramírez, Bernardo Pérez Salazar y Henry Salgado Ruíz. To Elsa Nivia (Rapalmira), Yeremy Bigwood, Yamile Salinas and Astrid Puentes and their advocacy and exhaustive research on fumigation. To the path to peace opened by Anthony Henman, Jaime Zuluaga, Camilo González Posso, and European and US scholars and activists through their studies, experience and alternative proposals. To the valuable contribution made by the Illicit Crops Network of the Universidad de los Andes and technical support of Andrés A. Medina and t To the active logistic cooperation of Natalia Zuluaga, Juan David Moreno, Daniel Feder and Laura del Castillo and Sara De Haro and José Yesid Sabogal of Mama Coca France.   We owe our chance to expand our outreach to the Tides Foundation.

MamaCoca's Projects

Mama Coca began its search for concrete alternatives together with the indigenous Proyecto Nasa Esh’s for the socialization of the coca leaf. Coca tea producción and sales have benefitted the Nasa Indian People, he Cabildo de Calderas and have helped to educate people regarding the nutritional virtues of the coca leaf.  Nasa Esh’s is currently producing coca cookies and the nutritious coca soft drink, a blend of indigenous and Western taste. Others in Colombia who have followed this example is the indigenous peoples' alliance  which produces the Kokasana tea.   MamaCoca's long term goal is to contribute to finding support for the region's peasant communities in their search for the economic, social and political empowerment needed to avoid the war being forced on them and shelter themselves from the economic and armed persecution to which they have been hstorically subjected.  To this end, Mama Coca, together with her allies, has conscientously laid the foundations of concrete and feasible projects with long-term goals: 

  • Independent Global Commision ) founded on June 18th, 2003 at the Mama Coca Workshop under the “Crops Issue” on occasion of the Thematic World Social Forum in Cartagena. It comprises 50 well-known experts and social leaders from 16 different countries and all scopes of knowledge on the ‘drug’ issue.  The basic criteria adopted for the Commission is the defense of Human Rights and civil liberties of growers and users. In this sense, one of the goals is to launch a horizontal social debate regarding the criminalization of peasant and small-crop growers of coca, cannabis and poppy and the conditions and measures affecting users. Its first role would be to submit a draft of a new document incorporating the original proposal and the different views put forward by the members of Impulse Committee for feedback towards building the Independent Global Commission. The members of the Coordinating Team come from different countries, −France, Brazil, Colombia, Pakistan, Cuba, Italy, Spain, India, Peru, and the United States− and scopes: Alain Labrousse; Ana Maria Motta; Henry Salgado from the Cinep; Ecofondo (represented by Elsa Nivia and Rafael Colmenares); Iqbal Khan; Jorge Atilio Silva; Luis Suárez Salazar; Luiz Paulo Guanabara; Mama Coca (represented by María Mercedes Moreno and Darío González Posso); Marco Perduca; Martín Barriuso; Molly Charles; Ricardo Soberón; and Sharda Sekaran.

  • Coca Bill: A Bill proposed in 2003 which clearly outlines the distinction between Coca, the natural resource (the plant), and cocaíne, the chemical substance into which Coca can be processed.

  • Andean Amazon Forum An international forum which brought together the Andean Amazón Region's indigenous, peasant and social leaders with European and USA academics and activists.

  • Reforma Red Latinoamericana pro la reforma de políticas de drogas; promoviendo reformas legislativas (Ley de Coca) e impulsando la elaboración de productos de coca.  

  • The Coca Paper is a sustainable, profitable and Human Rights-abiding formula for eliminating the dependency of Colombian peasants on growing coca-for-cocaine for a living. This productive project is proposed as a manual/mechanical, voluntary, mass and permanent eradication formula for the extensive coca currently grown for illicit purposes.  

MamaCoca encompasses all of us  Mama Coca 



We would like to thank the Tides Foundation for having made it possible for us to launch this  advocacy for social inclusion.


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©2008 Mama Coca. Please share this inofrmation and help us to make it known by quoting Mama Coca.

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Mama Coca whishes to state that it is an autonomous civil-society association and acts with complete independence as regards other institutions, political movements and parties. That the documents posted, disseminated and written by those of us who constitute Mama Coca do not necessariy represent those of all of Colectivo Mama Coca's pluralistic friends, unless explicitly acknowledged.