Peru Seeks Increase in U.S. Anti-Drug Aid

Masias Carmen - DevidaPeru’s drug czar, who is to travel to Washington, aims to increase anti-drug funding from the United States for the Andean country.

Carmen Masias, the head of Peru’s anti-drug agency Devida, said she will meet with U.S. lawmakers, the U.S. drug control director, Gil Kerlikowske, and directors at the international development agency, USAID, while in Washington.

Masias said she is optimistic that Peru will win over additional funding from the U.S. to curb cocaine production.

“It is posible that aid could increase. We have a shared vision with healthy differences,” Masias said in comments reported by state news agency Andina. “I’m optimistic, the relationship with the U.S. has never been better.”

U.S. drug control agents are pleased with Peru’s current counter-drugs policy, which involves expanding forced eradication of illicit coca leaves and increasing the number of alternative development programs.

The U.S. has spent billions of dollars funding anti-drug programs in the Andean region, which is the source of all the world’s cocaine.

However, the vast majority of that money has gone to Colombia, which until recently was the world’s top cocaine producer and is still the main supplier (95%) of the drug to the U.S. market. While cocaine production has fallen in Colombia over the past decade, it has steadily increased in Peru, which is now tied with Colombia as the world’s top cocaine producer.

U.S. anti-drug money to Peru currently totals about $28 million, which is a fraction of its overall investments in anti-drug funding in Latin America. Unlike Colombian cocaine, much of the Peruvian drug goes to Europe and increasingly Asia and other markets such as Brazil.

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  1. My advice is for Peru to take all the money United States will give. Then use that money to help the improvised farmers who now grow coca leaf to produce other cash crops. The so called war on drugs program in the United States is a complete failure. United States has more citizens in prisons than most other major countries combined. A large percentage of those in prison are from small time drug related offenses. The private owned for profit prison system in the United States makes billions of dollars from these small time War on Drug offenders. The War on Drugs program should be abolished. All drugs legalized to a point were it is no longer a felony offense. The governments sell and tax the drugs the same as alcohol. The organized crime syndicates would be out of business over night. Countries that have legalized drugs have not seen any increase in percentage of total population that uses drugs. Then use the billions of dollars now used on the so called War on Drugs, used to treat people with drug addictions. Hospitals set up that are solely for the rehabilitation of drug addicted persons, and return them to society. Also use a few billion of those dollars to undo the damaged caused to poor South American farmers, who got involved in growing the coca leaf crops to support this War on Drug program, that they never asked to be involved into.

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