Evo Morales, the Bolivian president, came to power promising to defend the right of Bolivians to produce coca for traditional uses. Himself a former coca-leaf farmer, Morales proved his commitment to that cause when he kicked out the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2009, and began the country's own system of regulating coca-leaf production.

The DEA leads drug eradication programmes across Latin America, but it is an often controversial partnership. Morales' move brought heavy criticism from Washington, and led the US government to conclude that Bolivia was failing to meet its commitment to fight the production of cocaine.

But a new report suggests that the country's unorthodox measures are working, with a significant drop in coca plantings and without the violence associated with many aspects of the US war on drugs.

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