There has been a recent increase in the amount of Coca that is being cultivated in the tropical valleys surrounding Peru. The Andean drug trade is producing large amounts of Coca (a leaf that can be used to make cocaine) in very remote areas around Peru and current estimates of the amount of Coca being produced means that it will potentially over take Colombia as the number one exporter of cocaine.
Currently Mexican and Colombian drug lords as well as the Shining Path Guerrillas are fighting for control over this growing drug trade in Peru. Most of the product that is grown and produced in Peru is smuggled into the US and parts of Europe.
Many of the people in government and law enforcement in Peru realise that stopping the growing and smuggling of drugs in their country is seemingly impossible but efforts can be made to slow the trade down by finding crops and removing or destroying them. In Colombia anti Narcotic forces, funded by the US, have had some success but the problem with targeting one area means the drug producers simply shift to other areas of the Andes, in this case Peru.
During the 1990s there was a huge crackdown on the growing of coca in Peru and Bolivia which shifted the drug producers to areas of Colombia. Aerial spraying of crops in these areas of Colombia then forced the drug cultivators to move to many new areas and start once again.
The time line and the activities of the drug cultivators has come full circle with the increase in the cultivation of coca in Peru. Rebel groups have killed thousands of people through wars with government forces over drugs being cultivated in Peru.
The areas of Peru that are seeing a resurgence of coca cultivation were the areas that had the first cocaine boom in the 19th century after the Germans discovered a way to make cocaine with the coca leaf. Much of the cultivation of coca is done by local farmers who can get a much better return on cultivating coca than other more tradition crops.
The US government has increased the amount of money it will be spending on antinarcotics aid for Peru which will help fund new Police and allow more enforcement of the current drug laws. Both the US and the Peruvian governments realise that the battle to eradicate drugs and coca cultivation is going to be a long and drawn out affair.