HomeNewsBriefPeru Steps Up Efforts to Cut Cocaine Air Bridge
BRIEF

Peru Steps Up Efforts to Cut Cocaine Air Bridge

BOLIVIA / 25 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Peru's government plans to purchase several military planes and install 10 military bases in the country's principal coca-producing region, supported by a new radar system -- a sign that the world's top cocaine producer is working to cut drug flights to Bolivia.

During a visit to a counterinsurgency military base in the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley region (VRAEM), Peruvian Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano announced that by March 2015 the government would obtain two latest-model C-27J military transport aircraft, along with two other planes, to support armed forces operations in the region, reported news agency Andina.

The aircraft may be used for aerial interdiction after Peru completes an ongoing process of acquiring four radar to detect drug planes in the VRAEM, said the minister. He indicated that after Peru installed the radar, the country would reinstate a long-suspended policy of shooting down suspected drug planes, following international protocols, reported La Republica

However, he added that the radar purchase process "would not happen overnight," reported El Comercio.

Cateriano also announced plans to construct 10 new counterinsurgency bases in the VRAEM in 2015, with the goal of gaining territorial control over the region, reported Jornada.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cateriano also discussed the planned acquisition of four radar in a July interview with IDL-Reporteros, but did not give information on how quickly they would be purchased, or from whom, meaning that there could still be a long wait before this equipment -- or the planes that will support it -- becomes operative in the VRAEM.  

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

The latest announcements indicate that the government is working to cut the cocaine air bridge to Bolivia that supplies the Brazilian market. IDL-Reporteros estimates that anywhere from 54 to 72 tons of cocaine leave the VRAEM via aircraft each month.

The move will be supported by the United States, which approximately doubled its counternarcotics aid to Peru between 2012 and 2013, from $55 million to $100 million. However, this amount still pales in comparison to the sums the United States has traditionally spent in assistance to Colombia -- a point not lost on former Peruvian President Alan Garcia, who has in the past blamed Peru's anti-drug failures on insufficient US aid.

If Peru is successful in cutting the air bridge, there could be a knock-on effect elsewhere. Neighboring Bolivia -- currently a distant third to Peru and Colombia in coca production -- is emerging as a regional hub for organized crime, and could host more drug operations if Peru becomes inhospitable.

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.

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

DISPLACEMENT / 3 MAR 2022

Without the bodies, the exact number of people executed in broad daylight at a funeral in Mexico's western state of…

CHILE / 25 AUG 2021

A series of seizures and drug raids across Latin America have revealed how previously niche high-strength marijuana products are establishing…

BARRIO 18 / 18 JAN 2021

The recent decision by the US government to charge MS13’s top leaders in El Salvador with terrorism is either a…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.