U.S. Assists Peruvian Military in Its Counter-Narcotics Fight

By Dialogo
December 15, 2014



Peru recently hosted a small U.S. Marines Corps security cooperation team, who engaged in joint training exercises with 150 Peruvian Marines and 50 Peruvian Commandos.

The drills focused on the best ways to combat narco-traffickers and organized crime groups – for example, on how to detect and dismantle improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which drug traffickers often use to target security forces. They trained in the mountainous region of Oxapampa, home to jungles that are similar to the landscape of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM). There, farmers who work for drug trafficking organization manufacture about 200 tons of cocaine annually, making it the largest cocaine-producing region in the world. That’s where Peruvian Marines and Commandos who engaged in the training will be deployed.

Shining Path terrorists also operate in the VRAEM, paying and forcing farmers to grow illegal coca crops. It uses money from cocaine trafficking to fund its illegal activities, sometimes in alliances with organized crime groups.

About 600 Peruvian Marines are deployed in the VRAEM. Admiral Luis De La Flor Rivero, the commandant of the Peruvian Marine Corps, said he wants to increase the number of Peruvian Marines from 3,500 to 6,000.

“What better way to do it than by joining the experiences our Marines face in the VRAEM with what [U.S.] Marines experienced in their conflicts,” he told the Marine Corps Times.


U.S. Marines trained their Peruvian counterparts on how to identify and destroy the IEDs and booby traps they’re likely to find during deployments. Drug traffickers often place IEDs on established routes used by Peruvian Marines to reach the VRAEM, forcing them to create new routes by using machetes to hack through dense jungle terrain.

In September, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited the VRAEM to discuss cooperative efforts with Peruvian military leaders. That same month, U.S. Marines with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-South trained Peruvian Marines on how to administer life-saving techniques to help those injured by IEDs.

“With the combat experience we’ve been through, we taught them how to control a hemorrhage – things that are going to save lives,” Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Clarence Perry told the Marine Corps Times
. “They deal with infection because of the jungle environment, so they wanted to know how they can use plants from the grounds around them.”

The Peruvians wanted to learn how they could use their standard equipment to save the wounded.

“They don't always have litters to carry their patients so they taught us some carries and how to use uniforms to improvise and get your partners back to the safe zone,” Perry said.

U.S. Staff Sgt. Edgar Alvarado, one of the training instructors who just returned from Villa Rica, praised the Peruvian Marines for their innovation.

United Nations praises Peru for its progress fighting narco-trafficking


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki
- moon recently praised Peruvian President Ollanta Humala for the progress his administration has made in the fight against narco-trafficking.


Peru recently announced that, as of the end of November, it has destroyed a national-record 30,349 hectares of coca crops – the main ingredient used to make cocaine. Peru has already exceeded the federal government’s goal of eradicating 30,000 hectares in 2014, Interior Minister Daniel Urresti told the Peruvian daily La República
. That achievement prevented 233,000 kilograms of cocaine from reaching the streets.

“I encourage Peru to sustain this effort to reduce coca and maintain social assistance in the areas where it is grown,” the UN leader said following a meeting with Peruvian officials at the government palace in Lima.

In 2013, Peruvian law enforcement and security forces eradicated a then-record 24,000 hectares of coca after destroying 14,234 hectares in 2012.


Peru recently hosted a small U.S. Marines Corps security cooperation team, who engaged in joint training exercises with 150 Peruvian Marines and 50 Peruvian Commandos.

The drills focused on the best ways to combat narco-traffickers and organized crime groups – for example, on how to detect and dismantle improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which drug traffickers often use to target security forces. They trained in the mountainous region of Oxapampa, home to jungles that are similar to the landscape of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers Valley (VRAEM). There, farmers who work for drug trafficking organization manufacture about 200 tons of cocaine annually, making it the largest cocaine-producing region in the world. That’s where Peruvian Marines and Commandos who engaged in the training will be deployed.

Shining Path terrorists also operate in the VRAEM, paying and forcing farmers to grow illegal coca crops. It uses money from cocaine trafficking to fund its illegal activities, sometimes in alliances with organized crime groups.

About 600 Peruvian Marines are deployed in the VRAEM. Admiral Luis De La Flor Rivero, the commandant of the Peruvian Marine Corps, said he wants to increase the number of Peruvian Marines from 3,500 to 6,000.

“What better way to do it than by joining the experiences our Marines face in the VRAEM with what [U.S.] Marines experienced in their conflicts,” he told the Marine Corps Times.


U.S. Marines trained their Peruvian counterparts on how to identify and destroy the IEDs and booby traps they’re likely to find during deployments. Drug traffickers often place IEDs on established routes used by Peruvian Marines to reach the VRAEM, forcing them to create new routes by using machetes to hack through dense jungle terrain.

In September, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited the VRAEM to discuss cooperative efforts with Peruvian military leaders. That same month, U.S. Marines with the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-South trained Peruvian Marines on how to administer life-saving techniques to help those injured by IEDs.

“With the combat experience we’ve been through, we taught them how to control a hemorrhage – things that are going to save lives,” Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Clarence Perry told the Marine Corps Times
. “They deal with infection because of the jungle environment, so they wanted to know how they can use plants from the grounds around them.”

The Peruvians wanted to learn how they could use their standard equipment to save the wounded.

“They don't always have litters to carry their patients so they taught us some carries and how to use uniforms to improvise and get your partners back to the safe zone,” Perry said.

U.S. Staff Sgt. Edgar Alvarado, one of the training instructors who just returned from Villa Rica, praised the Peruvian Marines for their innovation.

United Nations praises Peru for its progress fighting narco-trafficking


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki
- moon recently praised Peruvian President Ollanta Humala for the progress his administration has made in the fight against narco-trafficking.


Peru recently announced that, as of the end of November, it has destroyed a national-record 30,349 hectares of coca crops – the main ingredient used to make cocaine. Peru has already exceeded the federal government’s goal of eradicating 30,000 hectares in 2014, Interior Minister Daniel Urresti told the Peruvian daily La República
. That achievement prevented 233,000 kilograms of cocaine from reaching the streets.

“I encourage Peru to sustain this effort to reduce coca and maintain social assistance in the areas where it is grown,” the UN leader said following a meeting with Peruvian officials at the government palace in Lima.

In 2013, Peruvian law enforcement and security forces eradicated a then-record 24,000 hectares of coca after destroying 14,234 hectares in 2012.
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