Sat 29 Dec 2012

Coca producers discuss presidency and corruption

President Evo Morales

flickr- Sebastian Baryli

A meeting is set to take place between six federations of coca-leaf growers to discuss the progress of Evo Morales' presidency. Morales, who served as union leader for coca-producers before running for president, is expected to attend. 

According to the leader of women coca-producers, Segundina Orellana, the federations are also looking to discuss the recent cases of extortion and corruption within the government. 

These cases of corruption came to light following the arrest of US businessman Jacob Ostreicher in June 2011. Ostreicher was accused of drug dealing and money laundering, although he claimed that his arrest stemmed from a conspiracy of government officials looking to extort money from wealthy individuals.    

Those prosecuting Ostreicher came under question, leading to the arrest of ten officials linked to the extortion ring. The arrested include alleged ringleader Fernando Rivera, previously in charge of managing prosecutions within the Bolivian ministry of interior. 

According to the minister of communication Amanda Davila the web of corruption has been dismantled from the core of the government, although the opposition claims otherwise.

It is possible that following their annual evaluations the six federations of coca'growers will be calling for the resignation of several ministers involved in these accusations. 

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