Peru’s New Cocaine Hotspot?

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(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

“If we’re successful in one place, they may go elsewhere,” warns Peru’s Defense Minister Jorge Nieto about drug traffickers in Peru.

The Peruvian government has made recent efforts to crack down on the notorious VRAEM region of Peru with intentions to eliminate drug trafficking from the region.  However, Peru’s Defense Minister Jorge Nieto warns that a new hotspot is forming on Peru’s northern borders with Colombia and Brazil.

“If we’re successful in one place, they may go elsewhere,” he said in a news conference.  He referred to this as the “cockroach effect.”

Reuters reports that coca production has tripled in Peru’s Colombia-Brazil border zone in recent years.  Minister Nieto suggests that former Shining Path guerrillas from Peru are joining with FARC insurgents from Colombia in this region.

Trafficking is greatly reduced in the VRAEM region thanks to Peru’s internal armed forces operations.  On the southern and eastern borders with Bolivia and Brazil, Peru is cooperating with both countries to strengthen security.  An Integrated Frontier Monitoring System could be launched into this region by 2019 if its pilot project is successful.

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Mike Dreckschmidt

Mike grew up and eventually attended university in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated in Integrative Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning and has been a part of planning projects in three different countries. Mike’s passion is reading; he devours both literature and nonfiction. His favorite author is Peru’s own Julio Ramón Ribeyro.