Reduction of Illegal Crops through Social Responsibility

Reduction of Illegal Crops through Social Responsibility

By Dialogo
July 09, 2015

In 1983, due to the expansion of drug trafficking in Peru’s Amazon region, the Peruvian government created the Special Project for the Control and Reduction of Illegal Crops in Alto Huallaga (CORAH) to control illegal coca-producing spaces and thereby reduce the drug supply. CORAH’s principle strategy is to eradicate manually illegal coca plantations through community social responsibility.

CORAH reduces the coca-producing areas by eliminating illegal coca plantations, nurseries, crops near to maceration pits and those located in non-traditional areas or protected natural zones. In this way, CORAH recovers geographical sites for legal crops and activities. Nonetheless, in order to consolidate this process, authorities need to encourage local development in communities impacted by drug trafficking. The CORAH Special Project strengthens the Community Social Responsibility Program (PRSC) led by the Alternative Development Support Corps (CADA), reaching out to communities and assisting them in joining the economic and social development of Peru.

The reduction in illegal crops is an ongoing process in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys (VRAEM). The accumulated experiences of the CORAH Special Project with PRSC during the last five years undoubtedly supports the alternative development actions executed by the state and its agencies in the VRAEM communities that are still dependent on drug trafficking.

At almost the same time as the illegal coca crop reduction process scheduled in Alto Huallaga, Padre Abad, Pichis-Palcazu and the province of Coronel Portillo in Loreto, CADA is executing the Community Social Responsibility Program in the areas affected by the illegal production and traffic in drugs, aimed at social outreach and influencing changes in opinion, as well as improvements to local incomes by taking advantage of local potential and consolidating the legal structure so as to allow these communities to join in the national development process, overcoming their marked dependence on drug trafficking and then achieving Social and Economic Inclusion for these populations.

By promoting social action, such as economic development, PRSC also seeks to formalize its identity and agricultural property belonging to coca producers who, ordinarily, persist in growing coca due to pressure from and dependence on drug traffickers whose eyes are only on the profits they can realize through this illegal activity. This leads to a need to insist upon individuals’ development in these populations to achieve their inclusion as citizens in full possession of the corresponding rights and benefits.

Furthermore, by eliminating coca, the essential raw ingredient for cocaine, authorities seek to prevent the serious damages that drugs cause to humanity’s health, security and economy. By impeding the advance of illegal coca crops, the CORAH Special Project also seeks to halt the deforestation of the Peruvian rain forest, soil degradation and water pollution, thereby contributing to the conservation of the environment.