People of conscience rightfully condemn the Nazi looting of art and cultural artifacts from Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and from homes and museums around Europe. People also rightfully condemn the berserk destruction of cultural and historical treasures in Iraq and Afghanistan by ISIS and the Taliban.
There is a growing body of international law that condemns and demands reparations on the part of former colonial powers like Britain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands whose military and “explorers” looted cultural and historical treasures of Greece, Egypt, Iraq, India, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere in their Empires. The Spanish are certainly near the top of any list of looters of cultural and historical artifacts with their centuries-long conquest and domination of the Indian civilizations of Latin America.
And of course it can hardly be disputed that the Americans top the list of looters with their genocide against Native Americans and blatant theft of their ancient homelands, along with widespread looting of their cultural and historical artifacts, desecration of their graves, and theft of their cultural heritage. When this history is combined with the destruction and enslavement of entire African civilizations, and the forced obliteration of not only whole families and tribes but whole histories, Americans are definitely at the top of any list of historical and cultural criminals.
All of the victims of these various exercises of colonial avarice, hatred and slaughter are at some stage in seeking reparations. The Greeks want their temples back from the British. The Egyptians want the bones and treasures of their ancient Kings returned. Native Americans are demanding the return of their sacred objects and the bones of their ancestors from the Smithsonian. The Iraqis who have seen their Mesopotamian heritage scattered to the winds for centuries are currently being victimized by a blow-dried reincarnation of Jim & Tammy Faye in the person of the “Christian” owners of the tacky little “Hobby Lobby” chain in the US that is charged with large-scale looting on ancient artifacts in the Middle East. These elaborately coiffed smiley-face Oklahomans of course deny everything, pleading that they had no idea that these little ole’ tiles were invaluable cultural artifacts.
Cultures worldwide are demanding the same of museums in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The Chinese are demanding the return of cultural and historical treasures looted by the American-backed Chiang Kai Shek. American Black people are demanding reparations for the theft and brutalization of their families, cultures and history. Latin American cultures are demanding that Spain , Portugal and the Catholic Church return the wealth in gold, silver, culture and history stolen from them over the centuries of Colonial domination.
However, in the midst of all this worldwide outcry against theft of cultural and historical heritage by force and stealth, at least one enormous crime against Native People has been completely overlooked, and I am proposing that the people of Bolivia and Peru, who are the victims of this particular crime, organize and pursue legal remedy under the same body of international law that has begun to recognize the rights of other Native People worldwide.
The crime I am referring to is the theft of the Coca Plant by the European pharmaceutical industry that, since the 1840’s, has made hundreds of billions of dollars from the theft of this Sacred Plant of the Incas and has not paid one penny in reparation or shared any of the huge profits that this industry has enjoyed for over 150 years. Specifically, I am suggesting that Bolivia and Peru jointly sue the German Pharmaceutical company Merck, which was responsible for first looting Coca Plants from Bolivia and Peru and then extracting the alkaloid Cocaine from those plants, and then making Cocaine the core of the company’s fortunes as it grew into the globally dominant pharmaceutical giant of today.
The Coca Plant is indigenous to only one place in the world – the southern Andes – so Merck cannot claim that they took a plant that was readily available worldwide and simply exercised their scientific genius in producing Cocaine. The plants that Merck used to create mountains of gold from a few green leaves came from only one place, and were the cultural and historical heritage of only one People – the Native peoples who today live in poverty in Andes, remote from even a handful of the wealth so jealously guarded by the German pharmaceutical industry and others worldwide who profit from the cultural heritage of the Incas – companies like Coca Cola, who should also be named in any lawsuit for reparations brought by representatives of the Native People of Bolivia and Peru.
The art looted by the Nazis is being returned to the rightful owners under the law, and the families and descendants of those owners are rightfully being compensated. The stolen art, artifacts and bones of ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt and elsewhere are gradually being pried loose from the talons of the museums erected by Colonial powers to display their loot. Even the American Smithsonian is finally, reluctantly recognizing that it has no right to make the corpses of Native Americans part of their “display”, and are, while doing a lot of foot-dragging, gradually returning the bones and cultural and historical loot stolen from the Native American people. And although there is enormous opposition among the elite and their toadies toward paying reparations to American Black people, at least there is some movement among American Black people themselves to reclaim parts of their stolen cultural and historical heritage.
So why shouldn’t Merck, Coca Cola and others that have profited from the theft of the heritage of the Incas be taken before the bar of international justice and stripped of at least a major portion of the profits that they have made from the theft of the cultural/historical heritage of the descendants of the Incas? The court of jurisdiction would also be responsible for assuring that the money recovered in the name of the descendants of the Incas was not re-looted by politicians in those countries, and instead went into a closely supervised non-profit international organization that was severely limited in the salaries it could pay and the administrative overhead it could charge.
I think that this is the right thing to do, and I think it should be done beginning now. Are you listening, President Morales? You have an historic opportunity to force the greedy capitalists of Merck, Coca Cola and other evil corporations to crawl on their knees dragging wagonloads of stolen wealth back to the people who are its rightful owners.
Just do it. Por favor.
“Criminals like Guzman-Loera are responsible for bringing hundreds of tons of illicit drugs into the United States every year, and are responsible for tremendous amounts of violence and death in our own country and across the world,” the US State Department said yesterday, referring to the most recent capture of Mexico’s Al Capone.
A very standard bit of official verbal misdirection there, but especially annoying when you ask yourself what the hell the Department of State is doing in the drug kingpin commenting business. Of course the answer is – it’s just another use of the Big Lie technique by one of the major Police State conspirators.
“Criminals like Guzman-Loera” would not exist, and the violence and death would not exist, if the US had not erected a Police State structure of Drug Laws that create the criminals and make the violence and the deaths inevitable.
The criminality, the illicitness, the gross profitability, the violence and the death would disappear not if every so-called “kingpin” like Sr. Guzman-Loera were to be arrested, but they would end toot sweet if all the laws against the natural drug plants and their minimally-processed derivatives were simply abolished.
OMG – a Kingdom with no Drug Laws? Imagine.
A US without Police State Drug Laws might still import hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin and Cannabis until domestic growers and producers got going, but without legal or police interference in the traffic those imported items would be priced by the simple process of supply and demand just like Papayas and Bananas.
There would be no incentive for smuggling.
There would be no violence between drug gangs for territories. How many drive-bys do you see between rival beer or cigarette distributors?
There would still be people who abuse the natural drugs and become addicted to them, and maybe even more than today (though studies suggest not), but the lifestyle consequences of addiction would be far, far less harsh for many if not most addicts.
People who chose to waste their lives spaced out 100% on drugs would do so, just like they do now, but people who simply like to maintain a daily buzz – exactly how people do now with Coffee & Sugar, not to mention Alcohol – would be able to do so with no social issues attached.
Finally if drugs were legal and priced at liquor store levels there would be far fewer drug-related crimes like robbery and prostitution. Not a lot of alcoholics rob or fuck strangers simply to buy alcohol. But to buy Cocaine or Heroin in the Kingdom of the Drug Laws you have to have some serious money, and that means stealing or hustling. And the Police State likes it that way just fine – or it wouldn’t be that way, would it?
So if the Drug Law Police State were abolished, the US Department of State and the rest of the government structures supported by Drug Law money, wouldn’t be able to use people like Sr. Guzman-Loera as a boogeyman anymore.
And their budgets would shrink drastically.
That is why it is very important to the US Department of State for Mr. and Mrs. USA to believe their line of evil bullshit even though that is clearly, at least to some of us, exactly what it is.
Around 9000 people died of Heroin Overdose in 2014 in the US – or at least what was officially classified as Heroin Overdose – and that same tragic year over 8000 people died from Diarrhea. The Drug Law Enforcement agencies like to shriek that those 9000 Heroin deaths represent “A 400% INCREASE In these Tragic Deaths!!” But I ask you, if those 9000 deaths are so alarming – where’s the hundred million dollar War On Diarrhea? Where’s the equal love?
Well of course those deaths are each a tragedy whatever the cause – but the Heroin OD deaths are certainly not the kind of tragedy that the government is trying to sell them as, and like all so-called statistics they need to be understood in context.
A Few Leading Causes of Death in US – 2013 (source: CDC)
Opioid Pill OD @40K
Misc. Injuries @25K
Heroin OD @9K
So just in the context of raw numbers all the manufactured panic over Heroin overdoses looks kind of – manufactured, doesn’t it? In the context of non-disease causes of death Heroin Overdose is not anywhere near the top of the list. And as for Pills, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, in 2007 there were more deaths from prescription opioid pain killer pills than there were overdose deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.
While my own experience is that I have known plenty of people addicted at one level or another to natural drugs who functioned just fine over a lifetime, I can’t say I’ve ever known a pillhead who was doing that well. Even the CDC figures above show that there are 5 times as many deaths from pill OD as there are from Heroin OD.
But it’s a hell of a story – worthy of Oprah for sure. “400% increase in Heroin Overdose deaths last year!” Right – from about 2500 the year before to about 9000 last year. That’s about 400%, any way you look at it.
Sure looks like Mainstreet America’s got a problem worth throwing a couple of hundred million dollars worth of Police and War machinery at, doesn’t it? And then maybe when the Feds are done wiping out the Heroin epidemic they can go stalking one of the other killers on the list – I think Diarrhea would be a great next target for the DEA, don’t you? The initials of the agency wouldn’t even have to be changed.
All making fun aside, the true tragedy of Heroin Overdose deaths is that probably a LOT fewer of those 9000 people would have overdosed if they had been able to buy good, pure Heroin as easily as they could have bought a six-pack, and if they then could have gone somewhere clean and safe to enjoy their high.
Does that sound like a strange idea? As easy as a six-pack? Well, why not? Maybe not at a Mini-Mart but how about Heroin at your local natural medicines dispensary where you can also buy Morphine, Opium, Cocaine, and Coca Leaf along with Cannabis.
We know that our society has been thoroughly and deliberately propagandized regarding drugs like Heroin and Cocaine, so when we hear the CDC and DEA sounding alarms over Heroin overdoses we should keep asking, loudly and publicly, if there would be more, or fewer Heroin overdose deaths if good quality Heroin was available through the equivalent of a Medical Cannabis Dispensary.
Is it possible that there are people who really believe that making Heroin illegal keeps people who want to use Heroin from doing so? The cynical forces that created and enforce the Drug Laws and the Police State know better. They know that virtually anyone who wants to use Heroin or any other drug is already doing so. It’s not news that their game isn’t stopping “illegal” drugs – it’s sustaining and expanding a Police State built on the foundation of lies and fear.
The Drug Law mafia are cynically aware of that reality, of course, but they also know that millions of frightened citizens are frozen in fear in front of their TVs, waiting fearfully for the government to make them safe. And in these peoples’ minds, government propaganda has implanted the idea that there are hoards of impressionable children out there yearning to live life addicted to Heroin, sleeping in rat-infested alleys, and earning drug money by giving blowjobs in bus stations. This has them so horrified that they are more than ready to accept the government’s message that only violent punishment and imprisonment of drug users, drug addicts, and especially those evil drug dealers, will keep their the children safe.
The scientific and medical literature of the 1800s gives us thousands of case studies primarily from Europe, Canada and the US, as well as somewhat limited published research, on the role of Coca Leaf preparations in treating and healing an impressive range of conditions and diseases.
In these case studies Coca Leaf was almost always consumed by the patient as tea (hot water extract) or tonic (alcohol extract), which means that the initial site of almost all the recorded medical action of Coca Leaf on the body was the human gut.
The same has been true for hundreds of generations in the Andes – they chew Coca first to bathe their gut with the healing, balancing juices, and from there the healing influences radiate throughout their muscular, endocrine and nervous systems.
So according to the historical evidence, the healing action of Coca Leaf appears to be centered in the gut.
Fast forward to today.
We now know that it is the health and balance of an individual’s gut microbiome that determines their overall state of health. We know that when that balance is upset gut diseases occur, and we increasingly understand how metabolic and neurological diseases are linked to disturbances of the gut microbiome.
Human adults carry about six pounds of bacteria in our gut, and in this mass of living organisms there are literally tens of thousands of species – most of them still unidentified. However we do know the major players in the human gut, and increasingly we are finding out that changes in the populations of these major players, plus blooms of pathogenic players like klebsiella and c. dificil, seem increasingly likely to be causing serious human illness.
So it may not be making too much of a speculative leap to say that it is likely that one of the important things that 19th Century science is telling us is that Coca Leaf helps to maintain, and works to restore a healthy gut microbiome, although of course those 19th Century doctors knew nothing of the gut microbiome. But they did know that Coca Leaf preparations worked on a wide range of diseases – better than almost anything else in their apothecary.
It certainly wouldn’t take a major research project to confirm or to disprove what I believe the 19th Century medical literature so clearly suggests. As part of the work I’m doing in trying to find funding for “Centros de Coca Curación” I intend to include funding for research studies in this and related areas, engaging reputable degreed scientific and medical researchers in Peru, Bolivia and any other country where they would be free to conduct their work and publish the results.
Readers of this blog know that in past posts I have engaged in a lot of speculation on the modern implications what 19th Century science knew about the healing properties of pure, natural Coca Leaf. I believe that the richness of the human experience recorded in those days by people of science and medicine can guide us today, lost as we are in the machinations of the pharmaceutical and allopathic medical “industries”.
Isn’t it time to begin demanding that legislators in states that have legalized Medical Cannabis now move to legalize first the import of fresh Coca Leaf and Coca Medicines and also to legalize cultivation of Coca Leaf in the United States for general consumption as well as medical purposes?
The BBC has done it again with outstanding photography and gripping first-person stories of the Mochileros who farm and trade Coca in this beautiful valley deep in the Peruvian Andes. The atrocities that the US Drug Laws and our paramilitary War On Drugs have committed in the communities of this remote valley are well-documented in this excellent photo-essay although the crimes and their consequences are implicit rather than explicit. How the people of this beautiful valley live now is well documented here; how they could be living if not for the criminal insanity of the US is left unsaid.
Coca growing goes back to pre-historical times in this valley but the modern world’s insatiable demand for Cocaine has warped traditional Coca Leaf growing into a dangerous mix of guerillas, drug cartels, government agents, and foreign military/covert operations.
The BBC tells this story with a level of story and graphics that takes you directly into the Mochileros’s world and allows you to walk with them on their dangerous path through the mountains with a backpack full of Cocaine.
As I read this story I couldn’t help but wonder what life could be like in this beautiful valley if the people were free to tap into their Andean heritage to make natural coca medicines for the world instead of being forced to work as human mules.
To read BBC’s “Coca Valley” click here.