HomeNewsBriefPeru Sets Record Coca Eradication Target for 2014
BRIEF

Peru Sets Record Coca Eradication Target for 2014

COCA / 6 JAN 2014 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

The Peruvian government has set a target of 30,000 hectares of coca crops to be eradicated in 2014, a more than 30 percent increase on the record eradication registered in 2013, perhaps hoping to lose its recently acquired position as the world’s number one cocaine producer.  

The target was announced on January 4 by the government’s National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida) and follows the eradication of 23,600 hectares of coca crops in 2013 — exceeding the 2013 target of 18,000 hectares by more than 30 percent, reported Los Tiempos.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Coca

Much of the success seen in 2013 came as a result of large-scale eradication in the Upper Huallaga Valley, a key coca growing region. However, in announcing the new 2014 target, Devida’s president Carmen Mesias acknowledged that it could only be achieved by entering the VRAEM, the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys, an inhospitable collection of river basins which is the last remaining stronghold of the country’s Shining Path guerrilla insurgency.

InSight Crime Analysis

Peru is now the world’s primary producer of coca and cocaine, something Peruvian President Ollanta Humala may be seeking to redress through such ambitious targets.

His government — which came to power in mid-2011 — initially received strong criticism for its poor performance fighting drug production, with Humala’s original drug czar, Ricardo Soberon, attracting criticism from US officials for halting eradication efforts, until he was removed in January 2012.

Humala’s government has since won praise for its aggressive eradication efforts, which have been boosted by the apparent demise of the Shining Path in the Upper Huallaga Valley, allowing more effective government efforts in the area.

Overseeing eradication in the VRAEM poses a more significant challenge, with the Shining Path faction exercising considerable control over cultivation and trafficking. Peru does not allow aerial fumigation, as has been the mainstay of eradication in neighboring Colombia, placing manual eradicators at risk of attack from the guerrillas.

Peru’s outstanding eradication performance in 2013 came at the same time Colombia failed to hit its targets, after aerial fumigation was halted by guerrilla attacks. Nevertheless, Colombia still eradicated more than 70,000 hectares over the course of the year, meaning Peru will face an uphill challenge shaking off its status as the world’s primary coca producer should Colombia begin aerial fumigation again.

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

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 AUG 2014

Authorities in Peru have announced the removal of over 300 political candidates with criminal records from upcoming elections, a decision…

PERU / 4 JAN 2012

In 2011 Peru seized 13 tons of cocaine, just four percent of the estimated 330 tons that this Andean produced.

COCA / 15 JUN 2016

Colombia's seizure of a record amount of cocaine in 2016 is likely a reflection of criminal groups' ability to boost…

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…