Peru’s anti-drugs chief replaced in eradication spat

Ricardo Soberón did not last as head of Devida, Peru’s antidrug policy agency. On 10 January, five months after taking office, he resigned, apparently as a result of a clash with Óscar Valdés Dancuart, now prime minister, over Soberón’s intention to de-emphasise coca eradication. His successor, Carmen Masías Claux, has ducked the issue, saying that eradication is the interior ministry’s job; her top priorities, she said, are prevention and rehabilitation. In the mean time, evidence is pointing to a decline in cocaine interdiction and an increase in coca cultivation.

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