Foreign Affairs Minister: Peru needs greater international help to combat drug trade

Peru’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde has reiterated Peru’s call for more  international assistance to address the South American nation’s drug trade, daily Gestion reported.

“I think that we have to redefine the international cooperation because it is not possible that Peru is receiving so little, “Garcia Belaunde was quoted as saying.

President Alan Garcia recently said Peru’s growing drug trade is a result of a lack of aid to combat the illicit activity and blamed the United States for focusing too much on Colombia.

Peru receives about $120 million a year in aid to fight cocaine production. Meanwhile in Colombia, the US government has spent more than $6.5 billion on Plan Colombia, a counter-narcotics campaign also aimed at cubing leftist guerrillas.

“The responsibility is global because the topic is global and that also relates to the European Union where a lot of Peruvian drugs go,” said Garcia Belaunde. “I think we are looking at a case in which they are not supporting a country in a fight which requires an international agreement.”

According to the UN World Drug Report 2010, Peru displaced Colombia as the world’s top producer of coca leaf, the raw material used to make cocaine. In 2009, Peru produced 119,000 tonnes of coca versus 103,100 tonnes in Colombia.

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