Religious challenge Pope Francis drinks Coca leaves, the main ingredient in Cocaine

Upon landing in La Paz, the 78-year-old Pontiff appeared bright and alert during his welcoming speech

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Pope Francis, kicked off his tour of Bolivia by drinking a special brew made of coca leaves, used in producing cocaine.

On his flight to La Paz, Bolivia’s capital, the Argentine was served a tea of chamomile, anise and coca called trimate to help him adjust to the high altitude of the city, the Guardian reports.

Coca is outlawed by the 1961 U.N. convention on narcotic drugs and is the main ingredient in cocaine, but coca leaves are a staple in Bolivia’s agricultural landscape, and are often chewed as a mild stimulant, similar to coffee, or as a traditional remedy for myriad minor ailments.

As well as sampling coca tea, Bolivian Culture Minister Marko Machicao had earlier said that the Pope specifically requested some coca leaves to chew on his visit to the landlocked Andean nation, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Pope’s spokeman had also hinted that he might consume some coca leaf on his trip to show respect for local Bolivian customs.

Bolivia’s local indigenous population consider coca a sacred plant, a view backed by populist President, Evo Morales, railing against U.S.-imposed prohibitions spurred by the so-called war on drugs.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 NDC Matters Jewel Ackah is ungrateful - Anita De Sosoobullet
2 Appointments Nana Addo appoints Togbe Afede as NIB board chairmanbullet
3 Collapse of Banks Kumchacha slams Otabil over Capital bank's collapsebullet
4 Accra vs Kumasi 6 pictures that perfectly capture the differences...bullet
5 Photos Akufo-Addo receives $1m from India for renovation of...bullet
6 Health Service Major shake-up hits Ghana Health Service; 8...bullet
7 Ashanti Region NDC MP robbed by gunmenbullet
8 Auditor General's Report Here's how the National Youth...bullet
9 In Ho Woman stabs lover to deathbullet
10 Ghana Institute of Journalism Rector grilled at PAC...bullet

Top Videos

1 Watch Video I lick my wife before going to preach - Kumchacha confessesbullet
2 Video Galamsey operator weeps as taskforce burn excavatorsbullet
3 Illegal Mining Anti-galamsey taskforce goes wild; burns excavatorsbullet
4 Shocking Nurse confesses to killing 175 people a weekbullet
5 Capt. Mahama's Death The account of this 10-year-old will leave...bullet
6 Watch Video Tipper truck kills student of St Louis College of...bullet
7 WATCH Kennedy Agyapong dances wildly to hip hop song in...bullet
8 Lynched Soldier Residents of Denkyira-Obuasi mourn Maj. Mahamabullet
9 Video Metro Mass bus catches fire on Cape Coast-Kasoa...bullet
10 The history behind Abbosey Okai the spare parts hub...bullet

News