Bolivia’s president re-elected head of coca union

LA PAZ, Bolivia — President Evo Morales has been re-elected as head of Bolivia’s largest coca-growers union, a post he has held for more than two decades.

Morales was sworn in late Monday as head of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, which represents more than 40,000 growers. The coca leaf is used to make cocaine but also has traditional uses in the Andes, where it is chewed, made into tea and used in religious ceremonies.

Morales called his leadership of the union largely “symbolic” but promised regular meetings.

His re-election was criticized by opposition members, who said it was inappropriate given an apparent rise in drug trafficking violence.

Bolivia is the third-largest producer of coca and cocaine after Colombia and Peru.

Source: AP

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