Just Coca 2022Health | Science | People
Workshops in the Series “People and Psychoactive Plants” from the Centre for Biocultural Diversity, held on 18–19 May 2022: Coca leaf and coca products: uses, safety, medical applications, and regulatory challenges
2 days | 4 workshops
The two day event (with interpretation English/Spanish) featured 20+ international, multidisciplinary speakers: scientific experts, users, entrepreneurs, drug reform advocates and policy makers providing testimonials, keynote lectures, panel & round table discussions, and plenty of Q&A opportunities for interaction with audience.
Workshop 1 #medicine
Coca leaf in medicine: lege artis on safety & therapeutics for physical & mental health.
Wednesday 18 May
1h15 – 3h PM (London)
14h15 – 16h (Geneva/CEST)
7h15 – 10h (Lima/Bogotá)
8h15 – 9h (La Paz)
Workshop 2 #nutrition
Coca leaf and industrial products: lege artis aspects of nutrition, wellbeing, safety, innovation and process engineering.
Wednesday 18 May
3h30 – 5h15 PM (London)
16h30 – 18h15 (Geneva/CEST)
9h30 – 11h15 (Lima/Bogotá)
10h30 – 12h15 (La Paz)
Workshop 3: #nature
Sustainable coca cultivation & production in fragile environments: an engine for development, not a threat
Thursday 19 May
1h – 2h45 PM (London)
14h – 15h45 (Geneva/CEST)
7h – 8h45 (Lima/Bogotá)
8h – 9h45 (La Paz)
Workshop 4 #policy
From the Andeans to the Alps: the changing landscapes of coca leaf laws.
Thursday 19 May
3h – 5h PM (London)
16h – 18h (Geneva/CEST)
9h – 11h (Lima/Bogotá)
10h – 12h (La Paz)
Wednesday 18 May | 1h – 1h15 PM (London) | 14h – 14h15 (Geneva/CEST) | 7h – 7h15 (Lima/Bogotá) | 8h – 8h15 (La Paz)
Welcome remarks (15 min)
- Rajindra Puri (UK), director of Centre for Biocultural Diversity at the University of Kent
1. Coca leaf in medicine: lege artis on safety & therapeutics for physical & mental health.
Wednesday 18 May | 1h15 – 3h PM (London) | 14h15 – 16h (Geneva/CEST) | 7h15 – 10h (Lima/Bogotá) | 8h15 – 9h (La Paz)
Video from Bolivia, dedicated to Jorge Hurtado, coca advocate
Keynote speaker (15 min)
- Baldomero Cáceres (Peru)
2. Coca leaf and industrial products: lege artis aspects of nutrition, wellbeing, safety, innovation and process engineering.
Wednesday 18 May | 3h30 – 5h15 PM (London) | 16h30 – 18h15 (Geneva/CEST) | 9h30 – 11h15 (Lima/Bogotá) | 10h30 – 12h15 (La Paz)
Keynote speaker (15 min)
- David Curtidor (Colombia) Lawyer and founder of Coca Nasa
- Moderator: Fabian Steinmetz (Germany)
- Herney Ruiz (Colombia)
- Juan Salvador Hurtado (Bolivia)
- Dana Larsen (Canada) founding director of the Vancouver Dispensary Society, founder and director of Sensible BC
- Manuel Seminario Bisso (Peru)
3. Sustainable coca cultivation & production in fragile environments: an engine for development, not a threat
Thursday 19 May | 1:00 – 2:45 PM (London) | 14h – 15h45 (Geneva/CEST) | 7h – 8h45 (Lima/Bogotá) | 8h – 9h45 (La Paz)
Keynote speaker (15 min)
- Fabiola Piñacué (Colombia)
- Moderator: Pien Metaal (the Netherlands)
- Johanna Jacobi (Switzerland) Assistant Professor for Agroecological Transitions at ETH Zürich and member of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA).
- Dionicio Núñez (Bolivia) former deputy minister of Coca and Integrated Development
- Sdenka Silva (Bolivia)
- Dora Troyano (Colombia)
4. From the Andeans to the Alps: the changing landscapes of coca leaf laws.
Thursday 19 May | 3h15 – 5h PM (London) | 16h15 – 18h (Geneva/CEST) | 9h15 – 11h (Lima/Bogotá) | 10h15 – 12h (La Paz)
- Moderator: Zara Snapp (Mexico)
- Anthony Henman (British-Brazilian) professor anthropology, Cambridge, author “Mama Coca”
- Iván Marulanda (Colombia)
- Pien Metaal (the Netherlands)
- David Restrepo (Colombia) Associate Researcher Área de Desarrollo Rural, Economías Ilícitas y Medio Ambiente, Universidad de los Andes. Focuses on Agribusiness and Drug Policy Reform, specialized in coca leaf
To be announced.
Selena Manga Chavez
Selene Manga was born in Cusco, Peru. Great-granddaughter and granddaughter of healers and shamans, she has been practising the ancestral medicine of the Andes since her grandmothers trained her. She studied at the Faculty of Medicine of the National University San Agustin in Peru.
In 2002 she founded the Hospital “Verde Kusy Hampina Wasy”, an intercultural health centre where traditional Andean medicine is practised and learned.
In research and innovation she has presented her research work with Andean entheogenic plants since 1991 in more than 15 countries.
Baldomero Cáceres Santa María is a Peruvian social psychologist, researcher, university professor and writer. He is recognised in Peru for his academic activism for the decriminalisation of marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and coca leaf (Erythroxylum coca), promoting their medicinal uses, among others.
Dr. Roxana Miranda Larrea is together with Dr. Jorge Hurtado Gumucio (✞ 2021) the founder of Coca Wasi and the Coca Museum in La Paz – Bolivia. Dra. Roxana Miranda Larrea is a specialist in internal and integrative medicine, investigator of ICORI, author of books and researches:
– Treatment for cocaine dependence chewing coca.
– Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux.
– Coca and diabetes.
– Coca y osteoporosis
– Coca: the fountain of youth.
Sacha Barrio Healey
Sacha Barrio Healey (Paris, 1967) is considered an authority on nutrition, phytotherapy and alternative medicine in Peru and Latin America. He studied at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Peru and Complementary Medicine in England. He obtained a degree from the International College of Oriental Medicine in Sussex, England. He then specialised in Craniosacral Osteopathy at the College of Craniosacral Therapy. Since 2006 he has been directing the International Centre for Herbal Therapy and Research in Lima.
Founder Coca Nasa
David Curtidor is a public administrator, who has developed his professional practice at the service of the indigenous communities of Colombia and their political processes in search of autonomy and self-determination. He is the founder of the Coca Nasa entrepreneurship, an indigenous company for the defense of the Coca leaf.
Spokesman for the Nasa community in Colombia, he is the inventor and main promoter of a drink based on coca leaf extracts.
Coca Farmer and Advocate
Herney Ruiz is an innovative Colombian grower and pioneer in the department of Cauca, he has participated in the peace process of the town of Lerma as a community leader and has developed an alternative to the illicit cultivation of coca leaf. He vindicates the traditional use of the coca leaf and its production for local consumption and food production: “As coca leaf chewers, we took on the task of rescuing the traditional uses of the leaf. […] Because we used to say: ‘The world is losing its magical and beneficial uses.”
José Manuel Seminario Bisso
Entrepreneur (Coca Móvil) and Coca Advocate
Jose Manuel Seminario Bisso is a businessman dedicated to the elaboration of integral products and several years ago he incorporated coca flour. However, he left everything to become a Messenger of the Coca Leaf, convinced of its multiple benefits as food and medicine. Thus, he decided to make a pilgrimage to all the towns of Abya Yala (America), in his Coca Móvil, to spread the benefits of this mother plant, which we inherited from our ancestors.
Businessman and Drug Policy Advocate
Dana Larsen Canada is a Canadian author, businessman, philanthropist and activist for cannabis and drug policy reform. Larsen currently operates businesses and non-profit societies in Vancouver including The Medicinal Cannabis Dispensary, The Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, The Coca Leaf Cafe.
In October 2020, Larsen opened The Coca Leaf Cafe in Vancouver, with a focus on coca tea drinks made with imported Peruvian coca leaf.
Juan Salvador Hurtado
Entrepreneur Coca Products
Juan Salvador Hurtador is one of the new breed of Bolivian entrepreneurs. His family-run business—which produces several coca-based products—includes his mother, Sdenka Silva, who runs a coca museum in La Paz, and the family is deeply entwined in the traditions of coca within the Bolivian community. Juan describes it as ‘kind of a legacy, and my parents have been working on it as I have for a while already. So I think it’s in my blood in some way. I myself consume coca leaves and enjoy all the benefits of it . . . . I bond with it.’ He offers a range of new products including coca candies.
Dora is an Ecologist, PhD student in Ethnobiology and Biocultural Studies at the University of Cauca. During the last 18 years, together with the community of Lerma, she has built an innovative proposal on the use of the plant that is considered a pioneer at the national level. She has shared experiences and recipes with people from Andean communities.
Founder Coca Nasa
Fabiola Piñacué is a graduate in Political Science and indigenous to the Nasa people in southern Colombia. At university, Fabiola experienced great discrepancies regarding coca: her fellow students found coca to be dangerous, while she experienced coca to be sacred. So, she founded Coca Nasa. Coca Nasa, a company based on indigenous values, sells coca products, like tea, flour, beverages and other products. In a sustainable manner. By selling coca products, Coca Nasa not only aims to share the medicinal and nutritional values of coca with the world, but also to emphasize that indigenous knowledge is as valid as Western science.
Political and Social Leader, Advocate for coca farmers
Dionicio Nuñez is a Bolivian social and political leader and is considered an extraordinary ambassador of the coca leaf; without abandoning the cultivation in La Asunta, he promotes the defense of decriminalization of the coca leaf. In 2003-2004 he was Vice Minister of Coca and Integral Development, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies representing the coca growers of the Yungas of La Paz. He has been a member of the Bolivian delegation to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna (Austria).
Dr. Johanna Jacobi is an Assistant Professor for Agroecological Transitions at ETH Zürich. She studied Geography, Biology and Social Anthropology. Johanna researched the cultivation of the coca leaf in dynamic agroforestry systems in the Yungas of La Paz, in Bolivia. Her research focuses on agroecology as a transformative science, a practice and a social movement. Johanna Jacobi is also a member of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA).
Sociologist, Owner Coca Museum
Sdenka Silva is a Bolivian sociologist who runs the Coca Museum. For decades, Sdenka has been an active advocate for the coca leaf. She uses the museum ‘to give a small contribution to solve the misconceptions on coca and the drug war. She and her active family sees coca as an important issue for the country’s traditions and economy, but because ‘it is mainly illegal, the doors to commerce will remain closed’ outside of Bolivia and Peru.
Anthropologist, Researcher, Writer Mama Coca
Anthony Henman is a British-Brazilian anthropologist, writer, researcher and university professor. He is internationally recognized for his academic activism for decriminalization and policy reforms on plants such as coca. It investigates the ancestral and contemporary use of entheogenic plants such as the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) and the willka tree (Anadenanthera colubrina).
Researcher Drug Policy Reform and Agro-Economy Researcher
David Restrepo works on drug policy reform and product innovation in Colombia and Peru, with a focus on the coca leaf. David Restrepo is Research Director at CESED (Center for the Study of Security and Drugs, UniAndes, Bogotá), where he promotes intercultural research and policy innovation on coca and other entheogens.
Political Scientist, Drug Policy Reformer at TNI
Pien Metaal is a Dutch activist and political scientist that works for Transnational Institute. Her work for TNI has focussed on research, education, network- and policy development on coca and cocaine, producers of crops for illicit use, fair(er) trade cannabis and many other issues related to―international―drug policy. She has written numerous articles, and contributed to various books and publications on the drug policy in Latin America since 1996.
Senator and Presidential Candidate
Iván Marulanda, senator and presidential candidate, proposed a law that seeks to regulate the coca leaf and its derivatives. Economist from the University of Antioquia with experience in the public sector, Iván Marulanda has a long history in politics and aims to fully legalize coca.
Drug Policy Reform
After graduating in Public Policy at Harvard University, Zara Schnapp works for multiple national and international drug policy reform organizations. Human rights and social justice are her driving forces. She is an international advisor for Acción Técnica Social (Colombia), the co-founder of Instituto RIA, board member of ReverdeSer Colectivo and formed part of the Secretariat of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.