Statement by Marco Perduca, Executive Director of the International Antiprohibitionist League and UN Representative for the Transnational Radical Party:

“I congratulate Evo Morale on his election as first Indigenous President of Bolivia. Mr. Morales ran on an ambitious platform based on complex structural reforms that include the legalization of the production of coca leaf. Over the last couple of years, the IAL has been in contact with several MAS leaders to find ways to promote measures capable to govern the phenomenon of prohibited plants in radically different way. In fact, thanks in particular to the work of MP Dionicio Núñez, MEP Marco Pannella has been able to amend the EU strategy on narcotics along the lines of what the MAS has been calling for for years concerning the legalization of the industrialization of coca. Morever, for many years, the Transnational Radical Party has denounced at the UN the prohibition on plants as a violation of the right to development of dozens of groups in entire regions of the world.

“Morales’s victory is only a first phase of a long and difficult process to form a government that will have to implement that ambitious platform, a process that will need to be followed and supported so that President Morales can in fact translate his ideas in reforms of freedom and progress in a non-violent radical “green revolution”. For this to become possible and internationally recognized, all friends of campesinos and cocaleros will need to pressure their own governments to allow the legalization to happen for traditional, religious and industrial purposes as well the exportation of those products. This can only happen if, at the same time, those governments and groups will call for the launching of an international evaluation of the global system of “drug control” to radically reform the three UN Convention on Narcotics.”