LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -- Bolivian authorities say coca growers have whipped four police officers for trying to destroy their coca crop in an application of what the growers call "community justice."
Interior Minister Wilfredo Chavez says the four were lashed and sent on their way Monday by peasants in the Yungas region near the capital of La Paz.
In declarations to Patria Nueva radio, Chavez did not say how many lashes each man received or whether anyone was seriously hurt. It is the second time this year that coca growers in the town of La Asunta had driven away a government-sanctioned eradication mission.
Coca leaves are the basis for cocaine but also are a sacred plant among Andes natives, a mild stimulant they have chewed for centuries.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)