Peru to eradicate 22,000 hectares of illegal coca crops in 2013

LIMA, Peru – Peruvian authorities aim to eradicate a record 22,000 hectares (54,363.2 acres) of illegal coca crops in 2013, according to Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza.

“The goal reflects President Ollanta Humala’s strong policy to combat drug trafficking, and he wants to exceed all eradication records,” Pedraza said on Jan. 14.

Pedraza said counter-narcotics forces, for the first time ever, will concentrate eradication efforts in the cocaine-rich valleys in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river area.

The government said eradication in that area has been curtailed for years by narco-traffickers who work with the remnants of the Shining Path.

Eradication efforts also are planned for the regions of Huánuco, Pasco, San Martín and Ucayali.

Peru’s National Commission for a Drug-Free Life (Devida) said it eradicated 14,171 hectares (35,017.3 acres) of coca crops in 2012, exceeding its target of 14,000 hectares (34,594.75 acres).

Peru was the largest producer of cocaine in the region in 2011, with 716,502 pounds (325,000 kilograms), followed by Bolivia, with 584,224 pounds (265,000 kilograms) and Colombia, with 429,901 pounds (195,000 kilograms), according to the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

[AFP (Peru), 14/01/2013; El Diario (Mexico), 14/01/2013]

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1 Comment

  • miguel castro kohler | 2013-01-17

    The minister´s comments are not only misleading but actually false. I spent over a month touring the VRAEM region and let me tell you it´s going to be next to imposible to \"eradicate\" this crop due to the high levels of corruption in the governments, armed forces and police. The region´s economy is based on the Coca trade and the rate in which the local population is cutting down and burning trees to plant said crop is alarming, in fact the temperatures have actually increased due to this deforestation. Also, I´m curious to find out what the central government´s plan is in dealing with a quarter of a million angry peruvians, the local population, in my view, will react violently with regards to this \"strategy\". It goes to show that these people have no clue with regards to this issue. Miguel Castro