a network of active citizens who care for their peoples and countries: academics, activists in peace organizations, specialists in the field of crops used for illicit purposes, researchers from the Americas and Europe. Our initiative was born in response to the growing militarization and environmental destruction of the Andean Region as of the focus given to the Plan Colombia. Initially, we developed a social transnational network —the Plan Colombia and Illicit Crops Network— to exchange information which would allow us to analyze and join efforts against the escalation of Colombia's internal conflict, against criminalization of indigenous and peasant coca-growers, against the displacement of Colombians from their homes, and against biological warfare. With Mama Coca we are now proposing a site from which to open a public debate with the analytical and well-supported elements required to grasp the complexity of Colombia's domestic conflict and the particularities of each of the countries that make up the American Region. We wish to propose fact-founded and viable alternatives to the simplistic military proposal of the Plan Colombia in order to temper its regional escalation, the Andean Regional Initiative. The publication of this journal is a manifest attempt at promoting a think tank through which we might exchange valuable information with our fellow academics, activists, analysts and journalists with the aim of furthering the understanding required to put forward collective, regional, feasible, peaceful proposals for the American Hemisphere.
The ties among the people that developed this Web site owe their first start Gonzalo Sánchez's encouragement, to the cooperation of academics from the Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales (IEPRI) de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia and to other professors from this same university. To Darío González Posso's sustained support and wise counselling, and to Ricardo Ávila's down-to-earth approach. To the generosity of those who have sent in their studies for this and later publications; to Bruce Bagley, Charles Bergquist and other academics from the US, Canada and France; to the timely response of Pierre Salama of the Institute des Hautes Études de l'Amérique Latine (IHEAL) and Alain Labrousse founfer of the OGD. To the open-minded possibilities offered by France, crossroads of multiple influences. To the valuable contributions made by the Illicit Crops Network of the Universidad de los Andes and of researchers such as Catalina Toro Pérez, María Clemencia Ramírez and Bernardo Pérez Salazar. To the Observatory on the Drug Phenomenon in Colombia. To Margarita Serje's alternative outlook. To the dedicated translations of Mónica Lalinde-Moreno, Marie Claude Dubail, Cynthia Miller and to Jean-Marc Langé's linguistic and technical support. To the interest shown by Manuel Salgado Tamayo, professor at the Universidad Central del Ecuador, of our Peruvian colleagues, and that of so many others whose support, advice and proposals have made it possible for María Mercedes Moreno to coordinate this project.
Mama Coca encompasses those of us who wish to think, research, write, and inform with the endeavor of reorienting regional plans towards the building of more equitable societies where peace and local empowerment may prosper.
We require your interest, participation and initiatives. We convene those interested to send in their articles, proposals and suggestions. To this end, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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