I approach Bolivian coca policy under Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous President, as a site to examine the broader issue of decolonization. My paper argues that the new General Law of Coca, passed in March 2017, is part of a larger systemic pattern of violence towards historically disenfranchised communities in Bolivia, despite Morales’ indigenous Aymara identity and pro-coca activism. Drawing on interviews I conducted and a postcolonial theoretical framework, I analyze how although Morales has rhetorically advocated for indigenous communities and decolonizing Bolivia, colonial legacies supplanted in the subjectivity of Bolivians and institutions of its government have persisted. I suggest that it is not possible for any postcolonial state to decolonize if it embraces the forces of global capitalism — the same forces that drove the violence of colonialism. I use international relations theory and social movement theory to aid in the imagining of a path towards decolonization.
Poulos, Margaret A., "Coca, Capitalism and Decolonization: State Violence in Bolivia through Coca Policy" (2018). Political Science Honors Projects. 78.
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