In scramble for political finance, Bolivians turn to coca

AP News
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Posted: Oct 28, 2015 3:16 PM

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — While U.S. politicians are scrambling for ways to pay for campaigns, few are likely to adopt the latest Bolivian tactic.

Backers of President Evo Morales say they're bolstering their finances with donations of potatoes and coca, the crop that's a traditional stimulant in Bolivia but is banned abroad as the raw material of cocaine.

The president's partisans are seeking a constitutional amendment eliminating a ban on Morales seeking another term in 2019.

Coca growers' vice president Leonardo Loza says his members are pledging 20 tons of coca to be sold to raise money for the effort. They hope to raise $120,000 and say none of the crop will go toward cocaine. Morales is honorary president of the growers' union.

Other growers' groups are pledging potatoes and rice for the campaign.