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Government will not accept decree that legalizes the cultivation of coca leaf in puno

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Nils Ericsson, head of the National Commission for the Development and Life without Drugs (Devida, by its abbreviation in Spanish) discarded the government acceptance on the application of a decree issued by the Puno region that legalizes the cultivation of the coca leaf in the valleys of San Gabán, Sandia and Azángaro, zones whose production has been associated to the drug traffic.

The public official reminded that any decree emitted by a regional government cannot contradict the law that is designed by the Central Government. "What any regional decree says, is like saying that a supreme resolution contradicts a law" said Ericsson in declarations to local station CPN Radio, taken by the official agency Andina.

Ericsson recalled that the Executive accepted a similar decree of the Cusco Region, since it only legalized the crops whose production has been traditionally assigned to a legal use.
In addition, he revealed that the zones of San Gabán, Sandia and Azángaro have almost not sold anything of their production to the National Company of the Coca (Enaco), organization in charge to acquire the production of the coca leaf destined to the legal use.
Ericsson also said that, according to a report of the United Nations, the valley of San Gabán has registered "a monstrous, enormous and disagreeable" expansion of almost 400 hectares of coca leaf crops.

He alleged that the new Coca law that will be sent to the Congress establishes which are the zones of the country whose crops of this plant will be considered legal. With the law approval, according to him, Enaco will be the one in charge to supervise inch-by-inch the crops and the sale of the coca leaf produced by the registered growers.

However, he emphasized that the objective of the Peruvian government is not to eradicate the cocaine leaf in the country, by means of a similar program to the "Plan Colombia" which is performed in that South American country and whose purpose is to fully wipe out that plant from that zone.

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