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Security & Strategic Review - October 2019

Going after coca in Peru

The valley of the Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers (Vraem) in south-eastern Peru is the country’s largest illegal coca growing area. The heavy presence of drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) and remnants of the Sendero Luminoso (SL) insurgent guerrillas in the Vraem has prevented the Peruvian authorities from rolling out their coca eradication programme in the area. However, this is now set to change with the Peruvian government announcing plans to extend its coca eradication programme to the Vraem for the first time, starting from November. This could mark turning point in the fight against illegal coca production and drug trafficking in Peru, the world’s second-largest coca producer.

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