|English | Español||January 18, 2018 | Issue #29|
Coca Growers Take Lima
Nancy Obregón Leads Perú Coca Growers' March, Demands Meeting with Toledo to Stop Forced Eradication
By Itala Ureta
Peruvian Coca growers’ leader
The coca farmers will arrive after marching down the Libertadores-Wari highway, which forms the southern part of the Pan-American Highway. They will then join another 2,000 coca farmers from the Ucayali, San Martín and Huánuco provinces (north of the capital), who have been camped out in the nearby Ate-Vitarte district since last summer. Together, they will begin a march to the center of Lima, where, they say, they will stay until their demands are met.
Nancy Obregón heads the mobilization of farmers from the Ene Valley and Apurímac. Since Palomino’s arrest, Obregón, already a major campesino and coca growers’ leader in the country, has essentially become the head of the movement.
During a brief stop on her tireless trek, Obregón told a local radio station that the farmers would tell Toledo that the national agrarian policies must be changed, or they would further radicalize their protests and tactics.
She explained that the cocaleros are not against “alternative development,” but they reject the importation of foreign goods because it hurts their local economy.
She ended her radio address by recognizing her tired comrades on the march. Many of them have become exhausted during what has been called “the march of sacrifice.”
Today, Obregón’s group will join with the farmers from Huánuco, Ucayali and San Martín to enter the capital and lead a huge protest against the unilateral forced eradication of the coca plant.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism