HomeNewsBriefEradication No Fix-All Solution to Coca Growing in Peru
BRIEF

Eradication No Fix-All Solution to Coca Growing in Peru

COCA / 18 AUG 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Peru has failed to supplement its remarkable success in coca eradication with effective strategies that encourage farmers to plant alternative crops, meaning authorities still face an uphill battle in reducing cocaine production.

Less than half of all growers in Peru received financial support or assistance from the government after their coca crops were destroyed last year, according to the Associated Press. The majority of the 95,000 farmers affected by eradication in 2014 either rejected what they say is inadequate compensation or were offered nothing at all.

One family interviewed by the Associated Press grew bananas after their coca crops were forcibly eradicated in 2013. The family earned just $1 for the entire bundle of bananas, a pittance compared to the nearly $1,000 they can make every four months by selling coca. 

Peru has followed an aggressive eradication policy in recent years, and managed to destroy a record 55,000 hectares of coca in 2013 and 2014. Peru is no longer the world's top coca producer, according to the United Nations, a title it claimed from Colombia in 2013.

InSight Crime Analysis

The AP report reflects how even a successful eradication program like the one implemented in Peru falls short if authorities provide no viable alternatives to coca growing. Even when faced with the threat of having their crops destroyed, farmers will seek to continue planting coca it they have no other option for making a decent living. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Coca

A similar dynamic can be seen in Colombia, where coca production rose nearly 40 percent in 2014, according to White House estimates. Based on information from various sources on the ground, InSight Crime believes Colombia's coca production will continue to rise at a similar rate in 2015.

Colombia's decision in May to halt aerial fumigation will also likely impact the country's level of coca production. As much as 70 percent of the coca grown in Colombia is controlled by rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), presenting a significant security concern for manual eradicators. Peru -- which prohibits aerial fumigation -- abandoned its eradication program last year in the jungle region known as the VRAEM, due to security risks presented by insurgent group the Shining Path.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

PERU / 31 AUG 2012

Five Peruvian soldiers were killed in an attack reportedly carried out by the VRAE-based faction of Peru's Shining Path guerrilla…

GOLD / 26 NOV 2014

In response to new measures meant to fight illegal mining in Peru, smugglers are reportedly moving illegally mined gold into…

CONTRABAND / 3 NOV 2020

A sizeable seizure of adulterated rum shipped to Honduras from Europe reveals the extent to which black markets for alcohol…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…