United States Will Support Peru’s Strategy in the Fight against Drugs

By Dialogo
December 01, 2011

The U.S. Government, in a context of shared responsibility, will provide decided support to Peru’s strategy against drugs, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William Brownfield stated in Lima.

“The United States is going to support Peru’s national strategy against illicit drugs, in the context of the two countries’ co-responsibility for this plague,” Brownfield indicated at a press conference after meeting with President Ollanta Humala and Prime Minister Salomón Lerner at the Government Palace on November 29.

Brownfield said that the meeting included discussing the anti-drug policy, which “is a little different in concept from the one in the past,” since it was previously treated as a problem chiefly affecting other countries, the consuming countries among them.

“We’re now going to collaborate in terms of co-responsibility, of accepting that it’s a shared problem with responsibility and with the need for a solution,” he stressed.

He explained that in the new strategy, the U.S. and Peru will concentrate their efforts “in order to impact each link in the chain of the abuse of illicit drugs, such as eradication, production of cocaine, transport, logistics, money laundering, and financing, among others.”

Brownfield announced that he relayed three messages from the U.S. government at the meeting with President Humala.

“First, the concept of co-responsibility and the fact that Peru can count on the support that it continues to have from the U.S. government in its effort to fight, reduce, and eventually eliminate this plague.”

Second, “prioritization; that is, Peru will have its own national strategy, and the representatives of the international community will have to decide how to support it so that it can be more effective and efficient.”

He added that the third message “is about partners,” that is, “explaining to the international community that perhaps 30 years ago, this problem was addressed bilaterally between Peru and the United States, but now, this fight entails the incorporation of new countries and partners in order to confront it.”

A holistic approach to fighting illicit drug is the best way to do it. It is good to see that Peru and the US are joining forces to reduce this problem in Peru. But what about the rest of South America, the entire continent is plague with this problem. Shouldn’t there be a region wide effort?