The 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations, which hailed Peru’s efforts to reduce coca leaf crops, recognizes the Government’s policies aimed at fighting against this scourge, said Alberto Otarola, Executive President at the National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs (Devida).
“The most significant effort was made by Peru; it is a recognition to the government of President Humala, in general to public policies on interdiction and reduction of coca growing area in the country,” Otarola stated.
The report, issued yesterday by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, states the cultivation of coca leaf in 2013 decreased to the lowest level since estimates from the mid-1980s.
“The decline in 2013 was mainly driven by a 18% drop in the cultivation of coca leaves in Peru (going from 60,400 hectares in 2012 to 49,800 in 2013) and by a 9% reduction in Bolivia (from 25,300 to 23,000 hectares),” reads the document.
He said this scourge is disturbing because in the case of cocaine, there are 17 million people aged 15-64 who consume this type of narcotics worldwide, and the Andean region is the provider of the illegal substance.
Otarola warned that drugs is not only a problem involving public health, but represents a threat to the world and national security of countries. Statements were made during the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking established by the United Nations in 1987, which falls today.
This is why Devida has allocated S/.32 million (about US$10 million) for the prevention phase –with a joint work in coordination with various education organizations– the therapeutic care and the family prevention –with the emblematic counseling program “Habla Franco”.
The drug problem has become more difficult to address because now there are countries specializing in its production, shipment at ports and chemical inputs production; in addition, Brazil has turned into the second largest cocaine consumer at the global level.
“As for Peru, there is a settlement essentially aimed at producing cocaine hydrochloride,” he told RPP.