His modest sweaters became all the rage across Bolivia during his 2005 presidential campaign, but President Evo Morales’s policies have been less chic. In a country with deep ties to the coca leaf, the raw ingredient in cocaine, Morales has made U.S. drug warriors bristle by increasing legal production and encouraging new coca-based products – everything from coca bread to coca toothpaste to an “Evo Cola” soft drink. His rhetoric may have earned him brownie points with buddy and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but it won’t do much to quell the violent protests in the streets of Santa Cruz. With two dead, more than 70 injured and critics predicting that Bolivia could follow Zimbabwe’s road, Evo Cola couldn’t make its market debut soon enough.

Trevor Campbell

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