Air Support in Peru

Air Support in Peru
Posted by FoM on March 23, 2000 at 06:51:34 PT
By Claudio De La Puente
Source: Washington Post
The March 13 news story "Lack of Air Support Hindering Drug War" defined a problem of great concern to Peru.In the past four years, Peru decreased the area of coca production by 66 percent. This was due to a strategy to strengthen borders against drug trafficking, maintain low coca prices and provide incentives to farmers to shift to legal crops.
The Peruvian Air Force intercepted 91 aircraft involved in drug trafficking between 1992 and 1997. Key to these results was the provision of U.S. monitoring intelligence information. Since 1998, the Peruvian Air Force has not been able to continue its interdiction operations because of the lack of monitoring formerly provided by the U.S. AWACs and Orions.New air trafficking routes and increased land and maritime transportation are severely hampering interdiction efforts. The price for a kilo of coca leaf also has increased from about $1 (1996-1998) to more than $3. Coca paste also is being transported to the coast, where it is processed into cocaine and shipped abroad either through regular trade or in fishing or recreational boats that transfer their cargo to larger vessels on the high seas.As a result, in 1999 there was no reduction by voluntary abandonment of fields. The 27-percent reduction last year was due to eradication. But the increase of coca prices is motivating peasants to return to coca cultivation. U.S. satellite pictures show 1,500 hectares of new cultivation in 1999. The reinstatement of permanent monitoring flights over Peru would be a first step to reenergize our air interdiction efforts and control the price of the coca leaf.Claudio De La PuenteCharge d'AffairesEmbassy of PeruWashington Thursday, March 23, 2000; Page A28  Copyright 2000 The Washington Post CompanyRelated Article:Peru's Coca Growers Protest US Antidrug Policies
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on March 23, 2000 at 08:54:53 PT
more pro drug war spin
Yet another little piece of crap from the Washington Post,designed to create a favorable view of the need for more millions from the U.S. DEA/ONDCP pot o' gold........dddd This is your money on drugs.
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