Peru Will Organize Anti-Drug Summit in First Half of 2012

By Dialogo
August 29, 2011

The Peruvian government has announced that it will hold a presidential anti-drug meeting in the first half of 2012, bringing together the producing and consuming countries, Prime Minister Salomón Lerner reported.

“In the first half of 2012, a presidential summit will be held, in order to confront drug trafficking with a comprehensive plan of action based on the co-responsibility of producing and consuming countries,” Lerner indicated in a presentation to a plenary session of Congress, accompanied by his Cabinet.

Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo announced that the administration had already begun discussions with the United States, Colombia, Bolivia, Mexico, and Brazil with a view toward this summit, which was proposed by President Ollanta Humala when he took office on July 28.

Speaking to Congress, Premier Lerner affirmed that the country will pursue a sovereign anti-drug policy and that Peru will demand that the principle of shared responsibility with the consuming countries be put into practice.

Defining Peruvian anti-drug policy, the prime minister said that “we will be inflexible in fighting the gangs of drug traffickers and monitoring the chemical raw materials” that reach the coca-producing valleys for the manufacture of cocaine hydrochloride.

“We will not legalize any drugs, nor illicit crops; we will eradicate illegal crops and will not allow their expansion to continue, still less in national parks,” he emphasized.

The administration restarted coca eradication programs in the central jungle that had been suspended for a week for the purpose of evaluating and reorienting the anti-drug fight.

The suspension sparked questions and criticism in some sectors and among analysts, who indicated that the suspension would encourage increased cultivation of the plant.

Peru is the world’s second-largest producer of coca with 61,200 hectares, compared to 62,000 in Colombia, which heads the list.