Perú declares state of emergency to fight drug trafficking
By Dialogo September 15, 2014
The President of Perú declared a 60-day state of emergency Sept. 11 in the Amazonian districts of Mariscal Ramón Castilla and Yavari, in the Loreto Region, to allow security forces to increase their efforts to fight drug trafficking.
Security forces are focusing on fighting drug trafficking in regions bordering Colombia and Brazil.
The state of emergency allows security forces to conduct searches without warrants and prohibits public gatherings. The National Police and the military are cooperating to “effectively combat illegal drug trafficking” in the districts that are home to about 28,000, the Executive branch of the government said in a prepared statement said. The state of the emergency is declared in the Executive Order 057-2014-PCM.
Peruvian security forces recently destroyed numerous drug laboratories in Mariscal Ramón Castilla and Yavari, where authorities plan to eradicate 3,500 hectares of coca, the main ingredient used to produce cocaine.
Perú is the world's leading cocaine-producing country, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In 2012, criminal organizations cultivated more than 60,000 hectares of coca crops in Perú, according to the UNODC’s annual report, “Perú: Cocaine Cultivation Monitoring 2012.” Perú is home to 13-coca growing regions, with 60,400 hectares which are used for coca cultivation, according to the report.
Peruvian, Colombian and Brazilian police have noticed in spike in narco-trafficking – specifically in shipments of drugs and precursor chemicals – along the countries’ borders.
Drug trafficking groups process about 200 tons of cocaine in Perú’s Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM) annually, Peruvian security analyst Rubén Vargas told La República. Drug traffickers transport about 90 percent of that cocaine through the air, he said. The cocaine is then transported throughout the world, with shipments headed to Central America, North America, Brazil, Mexico, Europe and Asia.
In recent months, Peruvian security forces dismantled 37 clandestine drug trafficking air strips in early September. Security forces blasted massive holes in the runways to prevent them from being used. Local residents build the secret airstrips and charge drug traffickers a fee, to use them, according to Peruvian police.
Peruvian authorities must remain vigilant in their efforts to dismantle drug trafficking air strips, Deputy Defense Minister Iván Vega said: “We might destroy the runways, but locals financed by drug traffickers will come to put them together again so the flights continue.”
From January 1 through August 31 2014, Peruvian authorities destroyed 12,721 hectares of coca plants, according to Peru’s National Commission for a Drug-Free Life (DEVIDA). Their goal is to eradicate 30,000 hectares of the crop in 2014. Ninety-three percent of coca crops in Peru are used to produce the drug, according to DEVIDA.
In 2013, Peruvian security forces authorities eradicated more than 23,947 hectares which were used for coca cultivation, a significant increase from the 14,234 hectares security forces destroyed in 2012.