Coca SekColombia’s president Alvaro Uribe has been dancing to America’s tune thanks to an annual injection of $600m in US aid, he has beefed up Colombia’s anti-narcotics police, seized record tons of cocaine and extradited 520 drug traffickers to US jails

Hey, this is all good news right? Erm, well he’s gone and overdone it a bit.

He’s has now decided to focus on coca products made by the country’s indigenous Indians, the sale of which, outside Indian reservations, will now be banned. The main item affected is , a coca-based energy drink that looks like cider and tastes like ginger ale, which has become an alternative to the real thing, aka Coca-Cola among Colombia’s kids.

Coca Sek labelClick on the image to see the logo in more detail – kind of like Coca-Cola’s curvy script right?

It’s obvious what prompted this new measure: pressure from Coca-Cola. No matter that the US giant itself uses coca in the flavouring for its own fizzy drink (alegidly): the Nasa Indian tribe, who make Coca Sek, are still being told that their brew infringes the 1961 treaty banning the distribution of products with the slightest trace of coca. So it is that America’s war on drugs is now played out in the supermarket aisles of Colombia.


[Capitalism] is not a success. It is not intelligent, it is not beautiful, it is not just, it is not virtuous–and it doesn’t deliver the goods. In short, we dislike it, and we are beginning to despise it. But when we wonder what to put in its place, we are extremely perplexed.

John Maynard Keynes


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