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Coca, Si! Cocaina, No!

Aired on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Dispatches on April 14, 2008

Visit CBC to listen to an mp3 of the program

Ruxandra's piece starts approximately 15:30 minutes in.

From CBC's Dispatches site:

The government of Bolivia would like it understood that it is NOT in the cocaine business. It's in the COCA business. Big difference. Bolivia encourages farmers to grow the plant that produces cocaine, providing they turn it into something else.

Lebanon's Palestinians Set Market Value

An estimated 300,000 Palestinians have found their way to Lebanon, where they make up 10% of the population. Many have trouble finding jobs and buying property, so they're left to find economic advantages where they can. Don Duncan reports.

A Call to Rebels

Mike India, a one-man radio operation, spends his nights on the mic trying to convince Rwandan rebels to lay down their arms and go home.

Words from an Ethiopian Water Walker

For women in Dillo, Ethiopia, fetching water is a daily ritual, but also a daily danger. Jessica Partnow and Alex Stonehill follow Fadi Jilo on her journey to a disease infested pool that her village relies on for water.

The Fight Against Cocaine in Bolivia

For years, Bolivia has been considered only a transit point for cocaine — but in the last five years it has increasingly become involved in cocaine production as well. Last week, the U.N's International Narcotics Control Board annual report chided Bolivia's government for allowing an increase in coca production. But president Evo Morales has repeatedly fought efforts to eradicate coca in his country, saying that an increase in coca doesn't necessarily mean an increase in cocaine.

A Legal Market for Coca

The U.N.'s International Narcotics Control Board said last week that Peru and Bolivia should outlaw the chewing of coca. Those are fighting words in Bolivia, where coca leaves are widely grown and part of traditional Andean culture. Bolivia's president Evo Morales is a former coca grower who has pushed for increasing the legal uses of coca leaves — while clamping down on the illegal uses. He calls his policy "Coca Yes — Cocaine No" — that means encouraging legal coca growers — but cracking down on drug traffickers.

Doctoring in the Congo

Dr. Kasereka "Jo" Lusi risks his life tending to victims of war in some of the hardest-hit areas of the Congo. He performs operations in remote areas often under the crudest of conditions. And more than once, he's had to literally run for his life, as he's now become a target for guerillas. He does this work because he believes there's no greater act of love than putting his life on the line for the betterment of others.

Music heard in this story was by Anouar Brahem.

Ethiopia: Water Walker

Every day, three times a day, the women and young girls of Dillo Town, Ethiopia have to walk an hour and a half hauling water from a natural spring to take care of their families' daily needs. The water is brackish, contaminated by livestock and unfit to drink. But they do drink it and often get sick. Jessica Partnow offers this Day in the Life portrait of a water walker as typical of thousands of women around the world who have to walk miles every day just to get drinking water.

Peace Deal Struck in Congo

Government and militia factions have signed a peace deal to end a deadly conflict in eastern Congo.