HomeNewsAnalysisHow Peru Spent Its Anti-Drug Budget Over the Past Five Years

How Peru Spent Its Anti-Drug Budget Over the Past Five Years


A review of Peru’s anti-drug budget by Ojo-Publico.com found that between 2012 and 2017, almost half of the $650 million allocated to anti-narcotic efforts went to the Economy and Finance Department of the National Police, while just 11 percent went to the unit specializing in drug trafficking.

During his successful 2016 electoral campaign, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski promised he would defeat the “four horsemen of the Apocalypse,” referring to corruption, inflation, poverty and drug trafficking.

Peruvian authorities estimate the drug trade involves the trafficking of some 400 metric tons of cocaine — worth about $8.5 billion — each year. In its fight against this particular horseman, the Peruvian government spent 2.1 billion soles (roughly $650 million) between January 2012 and June 2017.

*This article was translated, edited for clarity and published with the permission of Ojo-Publico.com. It does not necessarily represent the views of InSight Crime. See the Spanish original here.

“Early 2012, Peru launched a national anti-narcotic strategy using indicators and targets,” explained Carmen Masías, the president of the National Commission for Development and Life with Drugs (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas – DEVIDA).

Using data from the Economy and Finance Ministry (Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas – MEF) stretching back to 2012, when the national budget first presented specific categories for the fight against drug trafficking, Ojo-Publico.com takes a look at how and by whom these resources were spent.

Budget Breakdown

The roughly $650 million was divided into three categories: reduction of drug trafficking, prevention and treatment of drug consumption, and comprehensive drug control.

Nearly 69 percent of this budget (around $430 million) was dedicated to the first category. This included measures aimed at improving the intelligence capabilities of the anti-drug police, carrying out coca eradication and countering the laundering of drug profits.

Over the same period, around $68 million was spent on prevention and addiction rehabilitation programs.

The third category — reducing the production of illicit drugs and strengthening anti-money laundering efforts — received a budget of about $135 million.

The Main Actors

Five state entities received the vast majority of these funds. The Economy and Finance Department of the National Police (Dirección de Economía y Finanzas de la Policía – DIRECFIN) took the lead, spending its budget on eradication and reduction of coca cultivation, as well as interdiction efforts.

Next came the National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo y Vida sin Drogas – DEVIDA), whose budget was sharply increased from 2015 onward. DEVIDA received 20 percent of the total funds over the five-year period. This entity, in charge of designing and carrying out Peru’s anti-narcotic strategy, spent roughly $130 million on security, health and prevention programs.

As for the police Anti-Drug Directorate (Dirección Antidrogas de la Policía – DIRANDRO), its 11 percent share of the budget amounted to some $70 million. The security force, tasked with heading intelligence and operational efforts against local and transnational drug trafficking organizations operating in Peru, spent 77 percent of its budget.

Regional Differences

Significant disparities also appeared in the regional attribution of funds. These administrative entities spent their respective budgets on prevention and rehabilitation programs, as illicit drugs and alcohol consumption remain a major challenge at the local level, according to DEVIDA president Masías.

“If we look at the evolution between 2002 and 2015, during the first year not even 20 million soles [about $600,000] were dedicated to this fight,” Masías said concerning national anti-narcotic funds. And while the state spent $650 million in this fight over the past five years, the DEVIDA president herself says that this amount is insufficient.

*This article was translated, edited for clarity and published with the permission of Ojo-Publico.com. It does not necessarily represent the views of InSight Crime. See the Spanish original here.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content


The latest annual report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) describes a continuing trend of growing drug use in…


From kidnapping and mass murder to money laundering and misuse of public funds, contemporary Latin American leaders have been investigated…

COCAINE / 17 APR 2019

It is abundantly clear, given decades of trial and error and escalating scientific evidence, that prohibition only makes risky drug use even riskier.

About InSight Crime


We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.


InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area


Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…


InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…


InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …


InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas


In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…