Fuel sale by Peru military may have benefited cocaine producers



A helicopter on patrol in the VRAE (Photo: Luis Ichaustegui/Andina)

Members of the Peruvian military have been implicated in the sale of aviation fuel, which may have later been used to make illegal drugs.

As reported in the news program “24 horas” and in El Comercio, General Benigno Cabrera, the military chief in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley area, or VRAE, gave the go-ahead for the sale of kerosene helicopter fuel to a dealer in Pichanaqui, Satipo.

The dealer, operating a gas station called “Moralitos”,  subsequently had his business shut down and was placed in custody of the police for violating local laws banning the sale of large quantities of kerosene. Large-scale kerosene sales are banned in Pichanaqui due to the use of the flammable liquid by cocaine producers.

The owner of the gas station, Fredy Marcelo Hurtado, claims to have been threatened not to report the sale, and now is asking for police protection.