The New Peruvian Cocaine Kings
Colombia has long been regarded as the cocaine king, but its reign over the dangerous but lucrative coca crop came to an end in 2013 when Peru (Peruvian Cocaine) seized the throne. Colombia produced 74% of the world’s coca leaves in 2000, but crackdowns reduced the country’s output by 25% between 2011 and 2012. During the same time period, another major producer, Bolivia, made significant strides in reducing output, cutting it by 7%. These victories in the global war on drugs have given Peru the dubious distinction of being the world’s top coca producer, despite the fact that its cocaine production has increased by 40 percent since 2000. According to the most recent United Nations survey, the small Andean country now has more than 60,400 hectares of coca, which is 20% more than Colombia.
Cocaine consumption in Peru is low — only 2.4 percent — but the country’s love affair with coca dates back more than 5,000 years. The drug’s leaf is also a sacred part of Andean religious tradition, and many Peruvians use it as a coffee substitute or traditional medicine.
Among the crop’s other advantages is its obvious ability to boost economic growth. The legal coca sector, monopolized by public company ENACO, has helped Peru’s poverty rate fall from 48.5 percent in 2004 to 25.8 percent in 2012. Coca contributes to poverty reduction by increasing the incomes of otherwise impoverished peasant producers and adding foreign exchange earnings that, at least in part, flow through to the legal economy and help finance imports.
Anti-drug agents in Peru seize 182 kg of cocaine in the Amazonian region.
(Xinhua) — LIMA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — Authorities reported on Sunday that Peruvian security forces seized a shipment of 182 kg of cocaine in the Amazonian region of Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro (collectively known as Vraem). According to PNP reports, anti-narcotics agents raided the jungle town of Encarnacion in the central province of La Mar, discovering the illegal shipment hidden inside plastic drums. According to the report, anti-drug agents also discovered about a ton of chemical inputs used by drug cartels to process cocaine. Security forces discovered a clandestine laboratory where the drugs were processed during the raid, which followed several days of intelligence work in the area. Authorities estimated that the drugs in the cache had a street value of $10 million US dollars. Cocaine processed in Peru is primarily destined for the United States drug market via maritime transport. Enditem