Peruvian Bill to Extend Military Presence in War on Drugs

By Dialogo
October 12, 2012

The Peruvian Congress Defense Commission passed a bill that extends the capacity of the Armed Forces to counter drug trafficking in Peru, informed the official news agency Andina, on September 10.

This approved bill aims to modify legislation to allow military intervention in the fight against drug trafficking, a crime that is addressed mostly by police forces.

One of the amendments would authorize the involvement of military forces in emergency areas, such as the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM), so that they can intercept people and land vehicles that roam the coca crop areas.

The bill will be discussed in the following days at a congressional plenary session.

Recently, the Peruvian government has strengthened the Military and police presence in the VRAEM area, where drug trafficking operates along with remnants of Shining Path guerillas, according to official sources.

On September 10, the Peruvian Ministry of Defense ordered an increase in the security of the area because of an attack perpetrated by the Shining Path during the weekend.

On September 6, members of the Peruvian insurgent group set fire to three helicopters that provided services to the country’s national gas transportation company Transportadora de Gas del Perú, which performs work in the gas fields of Camisea, located within Cusco department.