HomeNewsBriefCocaine Use in Peru Increases 60% in 3 Years
BRIEF

Cocaine Use in Peru Increases 60% in 3 Years

PERU / 7 NOV 2013 BY NATALIE SOUTHWICK EN

Drug consumption in Peru has increased significantly over the last three years, as the country undergoes the same evolution from producer nation into consumer as seen elsewhere in the region. 

According to a report (pdf) published by CEDRO, a drug-monitoring non-profit organization, domestic consumption of cocaine has increased more than 60 percent in just three years -- from a rate of 1.5 percent of the population aged 12 to 65 in 2010 to 2.4 percent in 2013. Over the same time period, use of cocaine base increased from 2.1 to 2.9 percent, and marijuana use rose from 5.6 to 7.5 percent.

Peru's major cities have the highest prevalence of drug users, with cocaine use in the capital of Lima at 5.1 percent and marijuana use peaking at 9.7 percent in Cuzco, closely followed by Lima at 8.9 percent.

According to Alfonso Zavaleta, CEDRO's chief researcher, rising cocaine use is directly linked to the rise in local production, reported Peru 21. "We have found that consumption of these substances has increased in areas where these drugs are being produced," he said.

InSight Crime Analysis

The rise of drug use in Peru is a troubling trend in what is the world's largest coca producing nation. According to the CEDRO report, Peru only needs about 6,700 hectares to meet the legal domestic demand for coca leaves. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates the country has more than 60,000 hectares of coca under cultivation -- as of the end of 2012 -- suggesting that up to 90 percent of coca produced in the country goes toward illicit drug production.

See Also: Peru News

The government last year introduced a hardline anti-drug strategy, which was followed by a jump in seizures and the implementation of strict eradication efforts, however it has not affected the country's status as the number one source of coca.

Peru has traditionally been a drug-producing nation, with cocaine paste usually shipped to neighboring countries like Bolivia for processing then onwards to regional and international markets. For traffickers, cocaine originating in Peru is often more cost-effective than cocaine from other countries, and both domestic and international demand for cocaine base has risen in recent years.

However, these latest statistics suggest that Peru is following the example of Colombia, another major producing nation that has seen the rise of its own domestic market, offering powerful new challenges to the Peruvian government in its anti-drug efforts, challenges that Colombia has so far been unable to meet.

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 / 20 JUN 2014

Authorities in Peru have identified seven human trafficking groups responsible for smuggling undocumented migrants through the country and into Brazil,…

PERU / 4 NOV 2014

In a double blow that's indicative of how the drug trade works in Peru's primary coca-growing region, authorities have disbanded…

PERU / 14 OCT 2014

With the help of locals, drug trafficking groups in Peru's VRAEM have rebuilt more than a quarter of the clandestine…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…