HomeNewsBriefPeru Drug Routes Illustrate Land Trafficking Patterns
BRIEF

Peru Drug Routes Illustrate Land Trafficking Patterns

BOLIVIA / 7 JAN 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Officials in Peru have identified four land and water routes used to traffic cocaine to Bolivia and one used to move drugs to Brazil, showing that though drug flights are the most popular method of exporting Peruvian cocaine, a number of well-established alternative routes also exist.

Three of these routes begin in the southwestern Ayacucho province, and two in Sandia, in the southeastern Puno province, according to police information accessed by the Los Andes newspaper. These same sources said that each week, 250 kilos of drugs leave the country from Sandia and Carabaya — also in Puno — which are important drug production centers and home to clandestine air strips used by departing drug flights.

In Puno, drugs are first stored in Juliaca, from where they are sent via a number of towns to Desaguadero, on Lake Titicaca, and then transported across the border to Bolivia by boat. Three of the routes coincide in this section of the journey, but originate in different parts of Peru. A fourth route enters Bolivia by the Rio Suches, which sits on the border between the two countries.

A route to Brazil leaves Peru from Puerto Maldonado, in the Madre de Dios illegal gold mining region, north of Puno.

InSight Crime Analysis

In 2013, Peru emerged as the world’s number one coca grower, adding to its status as the top cocaine producer. Meanwhile, the use of aircraft to export the drug to Bolivia, from where it is trafficked to countries including Brazil, Argentina and Europe, has been on the rise. More than 17 tons of cocaine left on 58 drug flights from Ciudad Constitucion in the VRAEM region — the coca producing heartland — in four months last year.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

Air trafficking from Peru to Bolivia is profitable and relatively easy, involving little risk of interdiction by Peruvian or Bolivian authorities, who lack radar technology to detect drug flights. Land routes, meanwhile, are generally less efficient, typically employing the so-called “hormiga” system in which large numbers of drug “mules” each move small amounts of cocaine along trafficking routes.

However, the two countries plan to increase security cooperation to combat drug flights, and Peru announced last June that the country’s first radar would be ready in 2014. If greater pressure is placed on drug flights, the variety of land and water routes identified by Peruvian authorities could gain importance in the near future.

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.

Tags

Related Content

FARC / 3 DEC 2014

A journalist in Peru has reported that Colombia's FARC guerrillas are profiting from the illegal gold trade inside Peru, underscoring…

ELITES AND CRIME / 11 JUN 2015

A judge has called off money laundering investigations into the wife of Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, clearing yet another obstacle…

PERU / 23 SEP 2019

A 400-page document by Peru's Shining Path guerrillas details the group's elaborate plans to increase drug trafficking operations and attacks…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

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.

THE ORGANIZATION

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

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

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…

BRIEF

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…

ANALYSIS

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. …

ANALYSIS

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

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

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…