Decreasing International Cooperation in Anti-Drug Fight Concerns Peru

By Dialogo
September 13, 2011

Peru is concerned by the “growing decrease” in international cooperation in
the fight against drugs and is negotiating with the United States and the European
Union for greater aid in fulfillment of their responsibilities in combating that
crime, the Peruvian anti-drug czar said on September 9.

“There is a worrisome trend of decreasing external cooperation,” affirmed
Ricardo Soberón, head of the National Commission for Development and Life without
Drugs (Comisión Nacional de Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas), emphasizing that what is
sought is for that cooperation to be “horizontal, open, and respectful, in order to
confront a problem that transcends Peru’s possibilities.”

He indicated that negotiations are currently underway with two U.S. agencies
for aid in the amount of 52.5 million dollars annually, while cooperation from the
countries of the European Union is expected to be 50.2 million dollars for the next
three years.

At a press conference, Soberón specified that the cocaine produced in
Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia — the world’s largest producers of that drug — is worth
33 billion dollars on being sold in Europe and 37 billion dollars on being sold in
the United States, according to United Nations figures.

“If those amounts are compared to what we receive in international
cooperation, we realize that there’s an enormous difference, which implies
non-fulfillment of the principle of shared responsibility on the part of the
international community.”

For that reason, he noted that President Ollanta Humala has called for an
anti-drug summit in the first half of next year, with consuming countries and
producing countries participating.

“The U.S. market has stabilized, but it still represents 36 percent of global
consumption, while there’s a substantial increase in consumption in Western Europe,”
he noted.

In the case of Peru, he said that drug production is calculated to be over
300 tons a year, of which around 20 tons is seized, implying that drug traffickers
do between 2.5 billion and 3 billion dollars of business in the country each

Peru will dedicate between 43 million and 45 million dollars of its resources
to the fight against drugs in 2012, for interdiction, coca eradication, rural
development, and prevention.