Coca in the Republican era

April 28, 2016

After the independence of the Andean countries from the Spanish colonization, significant testimonies are again talking about cultural and social roots of the use of the coca leaf and its adoption and use by foreign connoted. British General Miller to collaborate with Peru in the war against the Spaniards in 1824, stated that “nothing gets so quickly the good will of the Indians like to share a little coke, take your bag air with great satisfaction and feeling a deep honor at this event. General Miller often cracked”. Also known author of the Incas of Peru, Mr. Clement Markham in 1859, said: “Masqué coca does not constantly, but often from the day of my departure from Sandia, and by the pleasant feeling of comfort that occurred, I found that I could resist a long abstinence from food with less hassle than it would have felt otherwise; let me climb steep mountains with a feeling of lightness and elasticity without losing breath. This last quality should commend the members of the Alpine Club and tourists hiking in general”.

In the nineteenth century, several researchers, among others, Gaedeke in 1855 and Albert Nietman in 1858, who was the discovery of cocaine attributed by the isolation of what erythroxylina was called, was removed from his social and religious context to the plant coca first generating a series of chemicals medical application began developing pharmaceutical companies, but also abuse and lack of control in the use of cocaine, and in 1930, US authorities banned cocaine as an ingredient Coca Cola. In 1954, he met in New York the ninth conference on narcotics United Nations agreed to support programs to replace the cultivation and use of coca.

The rapid increase that took in developed countries in the use of cocaine, especially among young people and the harmful effects of drug-dependence, combined with conflicts and violence unleashed by drug trafficking, was placed in the center of the international debate the cultivation of the coca leaf. That sacred food and medicinal plant for millennia used by man and the Andean woman, happened to be detested as a curse for use in the form of cocaine, which is not coca leaf in the traditional use, it involves an urban form of address the existential conflict that has nothing to do with the psychological, environmental and spiritual balance of Andean ritual culture. We are thus faced with a problem still unresolved: the lack of meaning of life of many people in the developed West dealing with the drug to make sense though wrong, to their existence and on the other hand a worldview that integrates nature in everyday life far from the debates and anxieties of post modernity.