Peru's government plans to spend $20 million on software which will allow the authorities to track the purchase and sale of chemical which are used to produce drugs.
Investigative news website IDL-Reporteros reports on the plans, but points out that the government already has similar technology, which could be easily converted to allow the tracking of these chemicals. According to the Peru-based site, two systems known as Scop and GIS SAT, which are designed to track sales of fuel, could be used to monitor precursor chemicals.
These systems, used together, mean that anyone who wants to buy fuel must log this online and get an authorization code. When the purchase is made, the system records details such as when, where, and how much fuel is sold, the identity of buyer and seller, and the vehicle that collects the fuel.
It also tracks the locations of fuel trucks in the·Apurímac and Ene River Valley (VRAE), the country's biggest coca-growing region, which is also the powerbase of the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) rebel group.
Petrol products are tightly monitored in Peru because they can be processed into kerosene, which is used to manufacture cocaine.
Peru's new President Ollanta Humala has declared his intention to wipe out the remnants of the rebel army, and develop the remote and poverty-stricken VRAE zone. He caused some alarm when he suspended coca eradiction for a week in September, indicating that his administration may try to find alternative ways to control the drug trade, and the move to monitor chemicals more tightly could be a part of this.