Huanuco military base attack, one soldier killed

An attack on a military base in Peru’s coca growing Huanuco department has left one soldier dead, daily El Comercio reported.

The attack occurred early Monday morning at the base located in Huanuco’s Leoncio Prado province.

Authorities believe that drug traffickers are responsible for the assault in retaliation to the military’s discovery of a drug lab a week earlier.

Huanuco is home to the Upper Huallaga Valley, which is Peru’s top coca growing region. It 2009, 17,497ha were used to grow coca in the valley, according to the UN World Drug Report.

Peru’s other major drug growing region is the isolated areas that cover the Apurimac and Ene river valley’s, known as the VRAE. The area used to grow coca in the VRAE last year totalled 17,486ha.

Splinter groups of the bloody Shining Path insurgency operates in both regions, where they provide protection for drug traffickers.

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