I understand that coca is one of the base ingredients for making cocaine (which is a very complex and synthetic process btw), but if the (Peruvian) government wants to crack down on coca production for cocaine use, then they should consider regulation and not eradication...It's like trying to chase down the wind due to the remote locations where it's cultivated.
Kerosene is another main ingredient in the production of cocaine, and I know Peru has had issue with kerosene being exported to countries like Colombia for the production of illicit narcotics.
I think coca is all too often demonized. Coca and cocaine are NOT the same.
I've made my commentary before on my blog about Coca and Cocaine:http://rachelinperu.wordpress.com/2009/ ... a-illegal/
Here's an excerpt of an essay I did for an English course:
In “The Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru”, published in 1609 by El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the coca leaf was described as 'one of the grandest riches of Peru, because with it great commerce is conducted...and the Spaniards have used its properties in medicine.' Garcilaso also observed that the Incas regarded the coca leaf as more valuable than 'gold, silver and precious stone.' Andean shamans used the leaf to divine the future and make offerings to their gods, however the Spanish considered the shamanistic use of the leaf as anti-Catholic and strongly considered its prohibition to bring the Indians into religious conformity. Yet one thing remained certain during this period, the coca leaf was culturally, medically and commercially an integral part of Latin American society.
Out of the 200 coca leaf species, only 17 can be used to make cocaine; and turning coca into cocaine is a complex, dangerous process that requires the use of sophisticated equipment and harsh chemicals. These chemicals include kerosene, acetone, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid to name a few.
...It was German chemist, Friedrich Gaedcke, that discovered the method to isolate the cocaine alkaloid from the coca leaf in 1855; an alkaloid used in the 19th and 20th centuries as an ingredient in tonics and elixirs, such as John Pemberton's original Coca-Cola, to treat a wide variety of physical ailments. The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, however, would be the first government mis-classification of cocaine as a narcotic substance and consequentially prohibit its commerce in the United States. The proceeding Controlled Substances Act of 1970 would be the final nail in the coffin for the plant, effectively outlawing cocaine's use.
Basically put, not all cocaine is created equal
. You have cocaine the naturally occurring alkaloid and cocaine the synthetic narcotic.