Peru’s government plans to increase efforts to tackle cocaine production in the Monzon valley, one of the country’s top producers of coca leaves.
The head of Peru’s anti-drug agency, Carmen Masias, said the government has signed agreements with local authorities and coca growers in the Monzon valley, which will allow state actors to enter the region for one of the first times in many years.
The Monzon valley is located in north-central Peru’s, in the high jungle of Huanuco region.
“Monzon is a zone where [the state] hasn’t entered in decades,” Masias said, in comments reported by state news agency Andina. “Monzon was a no man’s land, and now there is an enormous interest for change.”
Masias said the government plans to promote social programs, infrastructure works and alternative development projects in the area.
Peru is one of the world’s top producers of cocaine, which is produced from coca leaves, which are native to the Andean region.
Efforts last year by the government to enter Monzon to eradicate coca fields led to deadly clashes between local residents and police.
About 10,000 hectares are believed to be used in the valley to grow illegal coca, making it one of Peru’s top growing coca regions.
The other major area straddles the jungle of the Junin, Ayacucho, Apurimac and Cusco regions in central and southern Peru, now strategically known as the VRAEM, for the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valleys.