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    Bolivia Starts Withdrawal from UN Agreement on Narcotics


    by NTDTelevision

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    Coca leaves have been consumed in Bolivia for centuries. And now the country plans to withdraw from the United Nations narcotics treaty in a move they say will protect that tradition.

    The Bolivian House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday to withdraw from the 1961 United Nations narcotics treaty. The legislative body is against the inclusion of coca on the treaty's list of narcotics.

    But Bolivia's senate still needs to approve the decision.

    [David Choquehuanca, Bolivian Foreign Minister]:
    "Bolivia's claim against the 1961 convention, which we have presented here today, responds to the necessity of protecting the human rights of the indigenous people [in Bolivia]."

    [David Choquehuanca, Bolivian Foreign Minister]:
    "Once Bolivia makes this claim - which needs to be completed before the first of July - we will be part of the convention but with a stated reservation so that we can continue practicing our culture."