Peru Expects at Least 12 Countries for Its 2012 Anti-Drug Summit
By Dialogo October 11, 2011
Some 12 countries have confirmed their attendance at the anti-drug summit being organized by Peru for 2012, with the objective of coordinating and elaborating joint policies in response to drug trafficking, the Peruvian anti-drug czar, Ricardo Soberón, announced.
According to the Andina official news agency, Soberón, head of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida), said that “as of now, 12 countries will participate in the summit,” to be held in Lima in the first half of 2012.
“The region’s anti-drug czars and representatives of the consuming countries will analyze the way to improve cooperation mechanisms in the fight against a problem that has acquired a transnational dimension,” he specified.
The Peruvian proposal won greater adherence and support during the recent visit by the Peruvian head of state, Ollanta Humala, to the United Nations, he added.
He announced that in upcoming days, he will meet with the anti-drug chiefs of several Latin American countries to analyze the different legal and police tools used to dismantle the gangs of drug traffickers that are active in the region.
Soberón has maintained that a comprehensive plan for the fight against drug trafficking is needed, because the idea of reducing illegal cultivation of coca – the raw material for cocaine – has not had results, since cultivation of that plant increases every year.
He indicated that eradication has been “symbolic” in recent years, since while crops were being eliminated in one area, according to him, they were appearing in another.
A United Nations report noted in June that growth in the production of coca – the basis for cocaine – has brought Peru to the level of 61,200 hectares planted, compared to 62,000 in Colombia, a country that has nonetheless gradually decreased the area dedicated to that crop.