Professor Eduardo A. Gamarra
April 17, 2014
Peru and Why They Are Number One
The trafficking of illegal drugs is nothing new, yet most governments have not found a successful way to halt the production and distribution of these drugs. These drugs include cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine which are widely known and used every day. The drug trade is the third largest in the world, valued at around $300-400 billion by the United Nations. Cannabis remains the most widely produced, trafficked and abused illicit substance in the world, with 147 million people using it, equally to about 2.5% of the world’s population; it is being produced in practically every ...view middle of the document...
” And more than 25,000 in Bolivia, making the Andean region look like it did in the 1990's. Back in 1990, Peru was leading the pack and Colombia was only producing around 19 percent of the world’s cocaine, but when former Peruvian President, Fujimori, began going after growers and traffickers, the trade started to move more towards Colombia and Bolivia. It seems as if the top status of who produces and distributes more cocaine is constantly shifting back and forth between Peru and Colombia. About 50 years ago in 1961, the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was established, it was a convention whose goal was to combat drug abuse by international action. It sought to limit possession of drugs, the use, the trading, the distribution, the export and import and the production. It also sought to combats this through international cooperation. This was introduced around five decades ago, yet the drugs are still being used, exported and trafficked. Throughout around 40 years ago, Peru and others have tried to stop the cultivation of the coca leaf and the production of cocaine. The Agency for International Development (AID) and the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics Matters (INM) are both American agencies that worked with the Peruvians to control and eradicate coca and cocaine production and trafficking. With policies and various different organizations helping to halt the production and distribution of cocaine since the 1970’s, why is it still at large, why can’t they stop this, and what are they doing wrong? Peru has reached this status because of the successful eradication efforts in Colombia, the weakness and corruption of Peruvian institutions and the strength of criminal actors.
The United States placed a lot of focus on Colombia and their War on Drugs and in 2000, Plan Colombia was initiated between President Pastrana and President Clinton. The United States congress decided that Plan Colombia would combat narcotics and they put emphasis on reducing the production and the trafficking of cocaine from Colombia to the United States. The United States began funding large amounts of aid to the Colombians; initially it was only $1.3 million for the Colombian military and police but in time it has reached to more than $8 billion. The strategy they were using to reduce the drug trafficking was the aerial fumigation of coca crops and spraying herbicides over coca producing regions. They provided planes, Blackhawk helicopters, pilots and military training to help fumigate. This plan was supposed to last for only two years yet after 14 years it is still intact. The success of this plan obviously didn't occur overnight, nor did it occur within the initial two year period. This required more than a decade of "steady strategic pressure across more than one administration in both the United States and Colombia.” Plan Colombia strengthened the Colombia government and professionalized it. All the while Colombia is finding success in their joint efforts...