Peru in Talks with EU for Anti-Drug Support

Peru’s anti-drug agency, Devida, is in talks with the European Union to obtain 34 million Euros ($43 million) to support the country’s anti-drug efforts, state news agency Andina reported.

Carmen Masias, the head of the agency, said that Peru could receive the funds in 2013 and they would mainly be used for initiatives to develop alternative crops to replace coca, used to make cocaine. Alternative development is one of the pillars of Peru’s anti-drug strategy.

Devida is currently working with the European Union on a 10 million Euro alternative development project in the province of Satipo, which is part of Peru’s coca-growing zone within the basin of the Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro rivers, strategially known as the VRAEM.

The funds could also be used to prevent drug consumption and rehabilitation of addicts, Masias said.  “Peru will look at what’s the best way to use these resources,” she said.

Masias also said that Peru plans to invest 15 million soles ($5.7 million) next year in forced eradication of coca crops, another major pillar in the country’s anti-drug plan.

Peru is one of the world’s biggest producers of coca, along with Colombia. Bolivia is also a major producer.

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