The New Peruvian Cocaine Kings
Colombia has long been thought of as the cocaine king, but its reign over the dangerous but lucrative coca crop ended when Peru (Peruvian Cocaine) seized the crown in 2013.In 2000, Colombia grew 74 percent of the world’s coca leaves, but crackdowns helped reduce the country’s production by 25 percent between 2011 and 2012. In the same period, another large producer, Bolivia, also made great strides in cutting production, dropping it by 7 percent.These wins in the global battle against narcotics left the dubious honor of being the world’s top coca producer to Peru, which has seen its cocaine production increase by 40 percent since 2000. According to the latest U.N. survey, the little Andean nation now has more than 60,400 hectares of coca — 20 percent more than Colombia.
Consumption of Coke
Local Peruvian consumption of cocaine is low — just 2.4 percent — but Peru’s love affair with coca is more than 5,000 years old. The leaf that is used to make the drug is also a sacred part of Andean religious tradition, and many Peruvians use it as a coffee substitute or a traditional medicine.
Among the crop’s alternative virtues is its apparent ability to boost economic growth. The legal coca sector — under the monopoly of public company ENACO — has helped Peru’s poverty rates drop from 48.5 percent of the population in 2004 to 25.8 percent in 2012. Coca helps reduce poverty because it adds to the incomes of otherwise extremely poor peasant producers and adds foreign exchange earnings that, at least in part, flow through to the legal economy and help finance imports.
Peruvian anti-drug agents seize 182 kg of cocaine in Amazonian region
LIMA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) — Peruvian security forces seized a shipment of 182 kg of cocaine in the Amazonian region of Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro (collectively known as Vraem), authorities reported on Sunday.According to reports from the National Police of Peru (PNP), anti-narcotics agents raided the jungle town of Encarnacion, in the central province of La Mar, uncovering the illicit shipment inside plastic drums.Anti-drug agents also found about a ton of chemical inputs drug cartels use to process cocaine, said the report.During the raid, which followed several days of intelligence work in the area, security forces discovered a clandestine laboratory where the drugs were processed.Authorities estimated the cache of drugs had a street value of 10 million U.S. dollars.Cocaine processed in Peru is mainly destined for the U.S. drug market through maritime transport. Enditem