Cocho has a quinta in the outskirts of Olavarria, Buenos Aires province, where he cultivated plants defined as "rare, sacred and exotic." Four years ago that transformed his passion into a profitable ethnobotany business , when he mounted a website to sell what it produced in its nursery and opened an office in the city center. Consulted before the federal justice system to know which seeds and plants could sell as many had psychoactive effects. The final answer came on Wednesday when the Federal troops detained Cocho and arrested two people working in the office for violation of the law 23737 of drugs, "as the marketing of alucinogens."
"They came four policemen, two witnesses and two experts, one from Mar del Plata and the other from Azul. And treated him like a drug dealer, but they are ancient plants. It's like if you put in prison for having a cebil tree (s hallucinogen), if the central plaza of Buenos Aires is full of these trees, "said Pablo Cardoso to the Pagina/12 newspaper yesterday, a friend of Cocho that was during the raid on the quinta. Besides cebil the site (www.cahuinadencul.com.ar) offered "San Pedro", peyote and salvia divinorum, some plant species that were confiscated during the operation.
The experts are a specialist in botany and chemistry, both were accompanied by the Sub Olavarría Federal Police. They found, among other plants, according to the official party, 72 ephedra plantz, which can be used to obtain ephedrine, given a laboratory and several hectares to cultivate; 215 cactus known as "San Pedro", a variety common in Catamarca, La Rioja and Jujuy, and the range of 147 cactus known as peyote (mescaline containing both). In the office they zeized they were 250 envelopes with yagé, variety of cactus, peyote seeds.
Cocho and its two employees were delayed at the federal Olavarría, pending the judge Cayetano Antonio Saladino Guarantees or not accept the proposal of the Azul federal fiscal, Luis Surget to refrain from being the cause in principle of a federal crime. Cocho`s attorney , Eduardo Lapente, told this newspaper that since his client requested to know what plants and seeds could be obtained and only gots dilatory responses, which ended in a negative general: "He responded that he had to know what was legal or illegal, so I presume they did not know, because my client has plants from other countries, which are hardly identified.
His client took every precaution, had enabled the business, paid taxes and never hid his work. "The problem is that the drug law is a law in white because, beyond the cannabis or cocaine, no mention of other plants, just chemicals," said Lapente. However, counsel for the worst case is that the offense was built afterwards. "I mean they took the plants to be analyzed to see what substances contain psicoativas and how much, when in fact a crime must be defined in advance, if not, you can not approve a raid, says. Like Evo Morales says, "the coca leaf is not cocaine. "
Pablo Cardoso's friend Cocho, was that both the plant roots and seeds that grew in the nursery are used medicinally. Ephedra, for example, is a strong hypotensive used to reduce pressure . Other plants such as peyote or San Pedro have a well-known ritual use. "The ayahuasca, is not like smoking a joint with my friends, is consumed in a ceremony that has a traditional design," compared.
Suspected Cardoso before an operation could have been done long before that "something is blocking." Specifically, slipped, the emergence of a body with fingerprints erased and face burned with acid, the same day as Cocho was stopped. The body could be a 17-year-old disappeared a week ago, Magalí Giangreco. "And as you can see that the police can not solve the case," said the friend of Cocho, "wanted to divert people's attention."