Note: Despite his promise to step down, the coca growers union recently re-elected Morales as their president.

Bolivia president re-elected as coca growers chief
July 29, 2008 - International Herald Tribune (The Associated Press)

LA PAZ, Bolivia: A coca union official says his colleagues have re-elected Bolivan President Evo Morales as their leader.

Luis Endara says Tuesday's vote means Morales will stay in the post that brought him to prominence as a crusader against U.S.-backed eradication drives. The farmers have rejected Morales' offer to quit the job.

U.S. officials are fighting coca as the raw material for cocaine. But coca growers say use of the less-potent coca leaves themselves is a healthy, centuries-old indigenous tradition.

Only Colombia and Peru produce more coca than Bolivia.