Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2000 The New York Times Company
Contact:  229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
Fax: (212) 556-3622
Author: Noah Friedman-Rudovsky


To the Editor:

Re "Where the Coca Trade Withers, Tourism Sprouts" (Shinahota Journal, Nov. 2):

The coca-growing Chapare region of Bolivia is severely impoverished and 
deeply conflicted. It is disappointing that after a month of fierce 
protests and strikes, intense militarization, deadly confrontations and 
disappearances - and on the same day that Bolivia's Catholic Church and the 
state human rights office denounced torture in the region - your article 
turns our attention toward a fledgling resort project.

It is misleading to speak of peace, tranquillity and future golf courses in 
a region surrounded by 10,000 troops and home to a radical and organized 
peasantry that has nowhere else to go and that continues to replant its 
traditional coca crops in the absence of viable alternatives.

NOAH FRIEDMAN-RUDOVSKY Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2000
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