Gov’t official says tackling drug trade central to fighting corruption

The president of Peru’s High-level Anticorruption Commission, Gonazalo Garcia, said Tuesday that the government must tackle drug trade because it is central to the spread of corruption in the country.

“I think that the pursuit of the crime of drug trafficking should be extremely rigorous,” state news agency Andina reported Garcia as saying.  The former president of the National Magistrates Council, Garcia was elected this week to head the high level commission. He was a vice-presidential candidate on President Humala’s ticket in 2006.

“We’ve found that the core of the problem of corruption is drug trafficking and that is what should be attacked systematically from its beginnings, from the cultivation of coca to the shipment of drugs in planes or boats,” he added.

Peru has seen a steady rise in the production of coca leaf, the raw material used to make cocaine. The main coca growing regions are the Apurimac and Ene river valley’s (VRAE) and the Upper Huallaga Valley, in Huanuco region.

Other coca growing countries are Colombia and Bolivia, while the main consumers are in North America and Europe.

Garcia said that officials are working on creating a network that includes all state organizations to tackle corruption.

“The objective is to collect all the reports and put them into a specialized software on corruption, process them and later send it to the Public Ministry, which is responsible for converting the reports in judicial cases,” he said.

President Ollanta Humala, sworn in on July 28, has said that fighting corruption will be one of his main priorities during his administration.  In his inaugural speech, he proposed to abolish the statute of limitations on all crimes of government-related corruption and to permanently bar anyone convicted of the crime from serving in public office.

One Comment

  1. deborah sletten says:

    Perhaps it would be equitable to legalize cocaine. The state would have a monetary cut to pay for its suppervision and provide social help to those who may need help with addiction. It would provide for tourism not an exportable item per say. It could require fair wages from the farmer on up and end a lot of killing. Thank you for your consideration.

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