HomeNewsBriefPeru's President Says 'Tough Laws' Alone Can't Beat Drug Trade
BRIEF

Peru's President Says 'Tough Laws' Alone Can't Beat Drug Trade

DRUG POLICY / 19 JUL 2012 BY EDWARD FOX EN

At an international meeting on drug policy, hosted in Peru, President Ollanta Humala spoke of the need for broader strategies to combat the drug trade, saying that "tough laws" alone weren't enough.

On Monday, the first of a two-day meeting with representatives of some 60 countries, Humala urged governments to join forces and share information on successful anti-drug policies, reported La Republica.

"We need to design policies with a multi-sector vision," said Humala. "We shouldn't think that only with tough laws [the drug trade] is going to disappear."

The president added that governments should work towards approaches such as rehabilitation for drug users, and increasing the number of alternative crop programs that encourage coca producers to grow legal products like coffee and cacao. Humala said that Peru is currently spending $250 million a year on its anti-drug policies and seeing very little success. Peru is now thought to be the world's bigger producer of cocaine, having overtaken Colombia last year.

It is unclear whether the issue of legalization will be discussed on the concluding day of the conference, as it is not on the meeting's official agenda, according to the Associated Press.

InSight Crime Analysis

In March, Peru unveiled a new anti-narcotics strategy that is set to run until 2016 and aims to cut coca crops by 30 percent by then. This followed the removal of the progressive Ricardo Soberon as head of anti-drug agency Devida in January and the appointment of the more US-friendly Carmen Masias, a move many saw as a sign of Peru's wish to appease the United States.

Humala's criticism of relying on "tough laws" alone to tackle the drug trade could be viewed as part of a regional trend of discussing alternative drug policies. Some governments, like that of Guatemala, have highlighted the need to explore legalization and branded the US-led war on drugs a failure.

Despite having decriminalized possession of small quantities of drugs since 2003, Peru has not joined calls for legalization, with Masias stating earlier this year that such a move would be "madness."

See InSight Crime's map of regional positions on drug policy
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

COCAINE / 21 DEC 2022

Venezuelan authorities claim to have destroyed 40 tons of drugs this year. But are they being fully transparent about their…

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…

CHINA AND CRIME / 14 MAY 2021

The taricaya turtle conservation program in northern Peru has been heralded as bringing an endangered species back from the brink…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…