Peru is the second largest coca and cocaine producer in the Andean region. Though cultivation of coca is not a criminal offence according to national law, peasant families are regularly subject to forced eradication and persecution by government agencies. The heritage of state corruption, including many links to the drugs business and organised crime especially under the previous Fujimori/Montesinos regime, still persists. Efforts on the part of government institutions in charge of drug control to develop autonomous and sovereign policies to resolve problems around coca leaf production and drug trafficking are under enormous pressure from the USA.
Political divisions and strife, with more than a decade of armed conflict and human rights violations still fresh in the minds of Peruvians, seem hard to overcome. The formation of a national coca peasant organisation has now started a process of political articulation difficult to ignore. A community of experts and academics is actively engaged in public and policy debates to make positive changes possible. Other efforts to reform state structures and to counter wide-spread corruption are underway. Hopeful signs about progress in the building of democracy are under pressure from rising social tensions triggered by forced eradication operations, however
TNI on Drugs and Conflict in Peru
- Hugo Cabieses Coca and Drugs. A Human, Political and Technical Issue TNI Website, 22 June 2005
- Ricardo Soberón Garrido Opinion: The Coca Ordinance TNI Website, 19 June 2005
- Broken Promises And Coca Eradication In Peru
TNI Drug Policy Briefing 11, March 2005
The forced crop eradication policy implemented by the Peruvian government over the past 25 years has failed. The official strategy has exacerbated social conflicts; contributed to various types of subversive violence; jeopardized local economies, also affecting the national economy; and destroyed forests as crops have become more scattered. Worst of all, it has not resolved any of the underlying causes of drug trafficking, such as poverty, marginalisation and government neglect.
- Coca or Death? Cocalero movements in Peru and Bolivia
TNI Drugs & Conflict Debate Papers 10, April 2004
This issue of Drugs and Conflict analyses cocalero peasant organisations in Peru and Bolivia and their interaction with successive governments during the peasant mobilisations of recent years. The achievements and failures of such negotiations expose the difficulty in finding peaceful and sustainable solutions to an issue as intricate as the cultivation of coca leaf.
- Coca, Cocaine and the International Conventions
TNI Drug Policy Briefing 5, April 2003
It is no understatement to claim that there are few plants subject to such tensions as the coca leaf, either in legal and political circuits, or in the medical and anthropological academic world. Before, during and after its inclusion in the number 1 list of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the controversy on whether the coca leaf is or is not to be considered a narcotic drug, worthy of control by the international institutions and mechanisms, reached apparent irreconcilable positions.
- Peru: From Virtual Success to Realistic Policies?
TNI Drug Policy Briefing 3, April 2002
The Peruvian government has become the victim of the false image of success of its drug control policies it launched at the end of the 1990's. A 'virtual' success that has directed international donor attention and support to countries considered more troublesome, such as Colombia and Bolivia. The international community needs to recognise the reasons for Peru's so-called success proving unsustainable and to help the country design and draft a more effective anti-drug strategy. Peru could set an example of what can be achieved through the application of a different drug control model. Such a model would steer clear of forced eradication, apply repressive measures only in relation to organised crime, and would have at its centre a rural development strategy negotiated with the communities themselves.
- Ricardo Soberón Drug Trafficking in Peru. The Scenario for 1998 Peru Solidarity Forum, Bulletin 21, March 1998
- Ricardo Soberón The Armed Forces and the Drug War. Between Garrisons, "Caletas" and Borders in Democracy, Human Rights and Militarism in the War on Drugs in Latin America, TNI/Acción Andina, April 1997
- Ricardo Soberón The War on Cocaine in Peru. From Cartagena to San Antonio WOLA Briefing Series: Issues in International Drug Policy, August 1992
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Illicit drugs: until 1996 the world's largest coca leaf producer, Peru is now the world's second largest producer of coca leaf, though it lags far behind Colombia; cultivation of coca in Peru declined to 36,000 hectares in 2007; second largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 210 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007; finished cocaine is shipped out from Pacific ports to the international drug market; increasing amounts of base and finished cocaine, however, are being moved to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia for use in the Southern Cone or transshipment to Europe and Africa; increasing domestic drug consumption
Definition: This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.
Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid).
Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.
Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual.
Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).
Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa.
Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussan AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin (horse, smack), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Synthetic narcotics include meperidine or Pethidine (Demerol, Mepergan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and others (Darvon, Lomotil).
Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the opium poppy.
Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for the natural and semisynthetic narcotics.
Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material, other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in commercial operations that produce the drug for medical use.
Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea.
Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine), ephedrine, ecstasy (clarity, essence, doctor, Adam), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and others (Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of December 18, 2008