Humberto Vacaflor writes in El Diario:
The Argentinian Province
These governments are, indeed, changing the history of their countries.
Argentina received its name because it is the territory where the silver (argentum) of Potosi was accessed, as it says the name of the South cone largest river.
Perhaps Argentina should not be renamed under this new influence it receives from these territories located north of its geography. It would be a tacky thing.
The “epicenter of drug trafficking” as defined by the Minister of Government Carlos Romero, the Ichilo area [in Santa Cruz], is attached to the “epicenter of coca production for drug trafficking,” which is the Chapare.
That region of the Cochabamba tropics has a very large economic influence, as large as the silver of Potosi had in those years of the conquest.
Coca began as an ally of silver mining and accompanied its progress by increasing its production to meet the demand of the forced anorexic miners of the colony.
But in 1861, when cocaine was produced in a laboratory of La Paz, as Sandro Calvani says, the leaf ceased to be the ally of silver and rivaled her to beat its economic influence, as now.
But is not the Yungas coca queen of this new phase that occurs in the New World, is the coca from the Chapare.
It has turned Santa Cruz into a single territory to pass drug to Brazil and now denounces Lanata, has turned Argentina, the other South American giant, into a province of the Chapare.
Cocaine factories are found even in the very southern Neuquén, Argentina while police give uphill battle against drug traffickers in almost all provincial capitals such as Rosario.
The political message of the Chapare is transcending the borders of the country and has become the epicenter of the drug and the economy linked to it.
These successes of the coca from the Chapare should certainly not be a source of pride for the Bolivians.