Learn about implications of coca production

JAMESTOWN – A young man who began participating in their programs at the age of three will be the presenter at the Audubon Center & Sanctuary’s next First Friday Lunch Bunch.

“The Political and Social Implic-ations of Coca Production in Bolivia” will be Caleb Johnson’s topic at Friday’s meeting that begins at 11 a.m.

Johnson will discuss the current situation regarding coca, how much of it goes into cocaine production, and the impact on United States-led counternarcotic operations within Bolivia as a result.

Coca has been an integral part of numerous indigenous populations in the Andes region for centuries, used for both medical and spiritual purposes.

With the rise of anti-drug operations, pressure has grown on the Bolivian government to eradicate coca production in the country. As the leader of the cocalero (coca leaf growers) union, Bolivian President Evo Morales has vigorously fought off opposition from countries such as the United States and won an exemption from the United Nations, allowing coca production to continue.

A senior at Houghton College, Johnson is majoring in International Relations and History with minors in Economics and Spanish. He has traveled widely, to the Balkans, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and, most recently, Bolivia. He plans to attend graduate school in the fall and pursue a master’s degree in International Affairs.

Following the program, coffee and tea will be provided for a BYO brown bag lunch. The fee for attending is $8 or $6 for Friends of the Nature Center. Reservations are not required.

The Audubon Center & Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren, Pa.

For additional information, call 569-2345 or visit www.jamestownaudubon.org.