Analyst: Garcia to leave an “explosive” drug trade inheritance for successor

President Alan Garcia is set to step down in just over two months and will leave his successor an “explosive inheritance” in Peru’s growing drug trade, sociologist and expert on the drug trade Jaime Antezana said.

During Garcia’s term (2006-11), Peru has seen growing trend in the hectares used to cultivate coca, the raw material used to make cocaine. In 2005, coca crops were grown on 48,200 hectares. This increased to 59,900 hectares in 2009, according to a recent UN report.

In a 2010 study co-authored by Antezana, the number of hectares used for coca farming in Peru grew to 62,296 hectares and was forecast to rise another 4% to 62,296 hectares this year.

Responsibility for the increase largely falls on Garcia’s government for failing enact policies to curb the trend, Antezana told daily Peru.21.

“In March 2007, President Garcia ordered [tax agency] Sunat and the Financial Intelligence Unit of [financial service regulator] SBS to identify and capture the cocaine barons. Today, there isn’t even a plan,” he said.

Antezana added that the current government appears to be “complicit” by failing to intervene in flow of money among drug traffickers.

Garcia will be succeeded by either leftist Ollanta Humala of the Gana Peru party or right-wing Keiko Fujimori of the Fuerza 2011 party. The winner of the June 5 vote will assume office on July 28.

Antezana also pointed out that proposals by both candidates in their government plans fail to offer a comprehensive solution to fight the drug trade.

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