Peru Exceeds Coca Eradication Goal

By Dialogo
December 07, 2012

So far this year, Peru eradicated 34,651 acres of illegal crops of cocaine, exceeding the goal of 34,594 acres promised in early 2012, Minister of Interior Wilfredo Pedraza said on December 6.

“This is excellent news for the nation,” highlighted Pedraza during a press conference at the Government Palace.

Peru is one of the main producers of cocaine and coca leaves worldwide, along with Colombia, according to figures by the U.S. government and the United Nations.

In 2011, coca crops in Peru – the main source used by drug cartels to make cocaine – extended over 154,440 acres, ranking second worldwide, behind Colombia and ahead of Bolivia, according to an annual U.N. report issued in September.

In 2011, the government eradicated 25,427 acres of coca crops.

Last October, Pedraza said he was confident they would reach the objective of eradicating 34,594 drug acres during 2012.

The minister also declared that the government had set the goal of destroying 39,536 acres of illegal crops by 2013.

Counterdrug actions were applied not only in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers valley (VRAEM), the main coca area in Peru, but around the whole nation, said the Ministry of Interior.

The Drug Enforcement Agency said that by July 2012, coca production in Peru was at 325 metric tons, ahead of Bolivia (265 tons) and Colombia (195).