HomeNewsBriefPeru Police Caught Smuggling Cocaine to Brazil
BRIEF

Peru Police Caught Smuggling Cocaine to Brazil

BRAZIL / 11 SEP 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

According to a Peruvian police report, 23 agents have been arrested in the past year for smuggling cocaine shipments headed for Brazil via Bolivia, an indication of the increased importance of Brazil's drug market.

The arrested police ranged from low to high-ranking agents, including non-commissioned officers, one captain, and four members of an anti-narcotics squad, according to a police review seen by newspaper La Republica. All were based in one of Peru's most conflicted regions, the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley, known as the VRAEM, home to a faction of the Shining Path guerrilla group.

The corrupt agents would use their days off to escort cocaine shipments as large as hundreds of kilos to the Bolivian border. One police agent was arrested August 24 for transporting 350 kilos of cocaine hidden among chocolate bars. 

InSight Crime Analysis

According to La Republica, some 3,000 kilos of cocaine leave the VRAEM region every month going towards Brazil, a sign of just how much the market for cocaine has grown inside Brazil. A recent study by the Federal University of São Paulo stated that Brazil is the world's largest market for crack, while the 2011 United Nations World Drug Report found that seizures of cocaine inside Brazil had gone up dramatically. This helps explain why the Peru-Bolivia-Brazil route appears to be so well-used.

The VRAEM region is the greatest producer of coca leaf inside Peru. According to a calculation by IDL-Reporteros, the region was capable of producing some 190 tons of cocaine hydrochloride in 2010. The sheer volume of illicit drugs produced here helps explain why the local security forces are so vulnerable to corruption.

And as La Repulica highlights, economic necessity also helps explain why police agree to escort drug shipments. One police captain said he agreed to protect a local drug trafficker in the VRAEM in order to pay for his wife's cancer treatment, according to the report. 

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

BRAZIL / 8 APR 2022

Residents of Brazil's largest open-air drug market may have permanently relocated amidst renewed police interventions and the possible orders of…

BRAZIL / 5 NOV 2020

The charges of embezzlement and money laundering faced by Flávio Bolsonaro may be the first severe crack in a corrupt edifice…

AUC / 30 AUG 2021

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the pioneer in industrial-scale cocaine trafficking.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…