Peru’s newly elected President Ollanta Humala suspended the only coca eradication program in the country, in Upper Huallaga Valley. It was a U.S.-backed program.
According to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Peru has surpassed Colombia as the world’s top coca grower, although Colombia maintains a slight lead in cocaine production. The U.S. State Department said Peruvian government officials “at the highest levels” assured the U.S. embassy in Lima “of their intention to continue close collaboration in the fight against narcotics trafficking and criminality, and to work together to continue to reduce the cultivation of illegal coca in Peru.”
Peruvian opposition politicians have criticized the suspension. Media commentator and former interior minister Fernando Rospigliosi, said, “It says to coca producers and guerrillas, ‘Go ahead, plant your coca, nothing will happen.'”