Peru is the second largest cocaine producing country in the world and a major exporter of cocaine and cocaine base to markets in South America, Mexico, the United States, and Europe. The Crime and Narcotics Center (CNC) estimate for coca cultivation in 2008 was 41,000 hectares. Peruvian coca cultivation has declined more than 70% over the last several years from an estimated level of 115,300 hectares in 1995.
U.S. Counternarcotics Goals
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' counternarcotics programs provide support to Peruvian Government agencies engaged in developing or implementing counternarcotics-related programs, including enforcement programs to disrupt coca cultivation, wholesale purchase, industrial-scale processing, and export of refined coca products. These programs also include judicial sector reform projects to improve the Peruvian justice system and build institutional capacity, as well as economic assistance programs directed toward sustainable development in coca cultivation areas.
U.S. Government assistance has strengthened police capacity east of the Andes. This has allowed the Peruvian National Police to effect sustained interdiction in source zones and to carry out eradication in valleys where coca farmers have violently resisted programmed eradication in the past. Additionally, there has been a sustained effort by non-governmental organizations, universities, and the mass media to heighten the Peruvian public’s concern about the insidious consequences of narcotics trafficking and the influence of traffickers over coca grower organizations. Many Peruvians have lost sympathy for the unreasonable demands of coca farmers, and there is widespread recognition of the link between coca leaf cultivation and drug consumption.
U.S. Government-supported law enforcement efforts are complemented by an aggressive USAID funded alternative development program for coca farmers in key coca growing areas.