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Heroin - An Overview

In the 1970s Turkey was the world's leading source of opium poppies and heroin, their derivative. Backed with $20 million from the US, Turkish authorities paid farmers to switch from poppies to alternative crops to help stem the illicit drug trade and confine poppy cultivation to licit uses. Other poppy growing regions rushed to take Turkey's lead in the heroin market, and in the past five years…

Hazardous Pesticides in Panama - Guaymí Laborers At Risk

From 1982-83, Philippe Bourgois examined the relationship of Guaymi workers of the Chiriqui Land Company's Bocas del Toro Division, a 7,000-hectare complex of banana farms in northern Panama, to the union movement. Owned by United Brands, a transnational conglomerate headquartered in New York City (formerly the United Fruit Company of Boston), the Bocas Division employs a plethora of different…

Hallucinogenic Plants and Their Use in Traditional Societies - An Overview

The passionate desire which leads man to flee from the monotony of everyday life has made him instinctively discover strange substances. He has done so, even where nature has been most niggardly in producing them and where the products seem very far from possessing the properties which would enable him to satisfy this desire. Thus early in this century did Lewis Lewin, perhaps the preeminent…

From Coca to Cocaine in Indigenous Amazonia

Many Amazonian Indians, similar to their Andean counterparts, have shifted the status of the coca plant from one among hundreds in their house gardens to a cash crop. Others are obtaining higher profits by processing the leaves into a paste - PBS, which is refined further to produce the white powder, cocaine hydrochloride. Almost overnight segments of a population which, by and large, had been…

Food and Famine in Ethiopia - Weapons Against Cultural Diversity

On October 16, 1985, Dr. Jason W. Clay, Director of Research at Cultural Survival, presented the following prepared statement before the Subcommittees on Africa and Human Rights and International Organizations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Five years ago, as Director of Research at Cultural Survival, I began to systematically…

Cultural Survival Projects - 1985

Since 1972, 60 percent of Cultural Survival's limited funds have supported field projects. This year, as in past years, some projects have ended, others have continued and new ones have been undertaken. The following update provides a brief overview of the projects Cultural Survival currently supports. How are Projects Selected? Cultural Survival, rather than designing projects, responds to…

Coca and Andean Culture - The New Dangers of an Old Debate

The fifth to the sixth of July 1985 saw the coming together of Peruvian and Bolivian scholars in the highland city of Cuzco, Peru to discuss the cultural importance as well as the current problems regarding the use of the coca leaf in Andean society. This Conference of the Coca Leaf, sponsored by the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Indian Institute,(1) was timely, and…

Civil Patrols - Armed Peace in Northern Huehuetenango

The civil patrol system, which the Guatemalan Army established as the cornerstone of its rural counter-insurgency campaign in late 1981 and 1982, is the dominant institutional legacy of the violence in northern Huehuetenango. Generally accepted by the people who are patrols, the civil patrol system serves other functions than the army claims. While perhaps started as a means of suppressing the…

The Prospects for Pakistan's Opium Farmers - Relief or Oppression?

A decade ago most American images of Southeast Asia were of the Vietnam war. A sidelight to the conflict was drugs - marijuana and heroin - both locally produced in the region known as the Golden Triangle. Today the Golden Crescent - Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan - has overtaken the Triangle as the world's leading region of heroin production. As much of this heroin is smuggled to the West,…

The Cocaine Industry in Bolivia - Its Impact on the Peasantry

For the indigenous people of Andean Bolivia who have been growing and consuming the coca leaf for several thousand years, the rising demand for cocaine in the United States is rapidly restructuring their economic and social relations. In recent years, underground, illegal economic activities have emerged on a grand scale. Surpassing most other legal economic endeavors, these underground…

South American Cocaine Production

Cocaine is one of the few products grown, processed, exported and distributed in the Third World. Exports alone are valued at about half the world coffee trade if estimates of deliveries to consumer countries are combined. But when bulk shipments are broken down for the individual customer, prices skyrocket by over 300 percent. Banking illegal cocaine earnings, however, is far more complicated…

Qat in North Yeman - The Controversies

Qat, Catha edulis Forsk, an evergreen shrub of the African staff-tree family, is the only species of its genus. Its leaves contain a high percent vitamin C and several alkaloids. When the leaves are chewed and the juices swallowed, the alkaloids act as stimulants to produce a mild "high" which lasts for several hours. The increasing production and use of qat in North Yemen has become a highly…

Marijuana/Hashish

Up until last year, Colombia was the world's largest marijuana producer with primary growing areas in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Serrania de Perija mountain ranges in the northeast. Local consumption was not considered extensive and did not reduce exports appreciably, but growing concern over the use of bazuco - marijuana smoked with coca paste - and the assassination of Justice…

Letter From the President

When Cultural Survival was rounded, few people thought it would succeed or survive very long. It is, therefore, gratifying to say, a decade and a half later, that we are still here and more active then ever. The human rights of tribal peoples and ethnic groups are still being violated all over the world, but Cultural Survival is in the forefront of the struggle to prevent such outrages. Jason…