Everything indicates that drug trafficking is gaining ground in the government of President Pedro Castillo. Last week, the Executive – through a letter from the Ministry of the Interior – announced the stoppage of the eradication of coca leaf crops in the most important areas of the Valley of the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers (Vraem). From that place comes 70 percent of the cocaine that the drug traffickers of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel ‘export’ abroad.
YOU WILL BE INTERESTED: ZAMIR VILLAVERDE SAYS HE DOESN’T KNOW ANY OF THE CHILDREN, ACCORDING TO HIS LAWYER.
The argument used to take that action would turn out to be a cunningly designed hoax. According to the regime, the decision was made to avoid “a social upheaval” with a 48-hour strike announced by the coca growers union called Fepavraem. However, the leaders of that organization -oh, surprise!- they are close to Castillo. They supported him in the presidential campaign.
“A pretext has been designed and a legal solution has been sought for the illegal coca growers to do what they want and operate freely in the VRAEM. That strategy was developed since Castillo assumed his mandate. Drug traffickers are the happiest.” A high-ranking anti-drug official tells me.
He is not without reason. Almost all of the 900 tons of cocaine that leave the country every year are processed in this tangled jungle.
The two main agents of this setback in the fight against drugs, in addition to Castillo, they are Congressman Guillermo Bermejo (who has now become the main adviser and whispers in the president’s ear) and Ricardo Soberón, the boss of Devida, who has always been an outspoken defender of the coca growers and even advised them in past years.
For this columnist, what happened exceeds all the corruption scandals that we are learning about, but few seem to care. Soberón himself announced on Thursday that coca leaf crops increased by more than 80 thousand hectares! throughout the country, surpassing the 60,000 last year. His absurd proposal that the coca growers voluntarily reduce his crops turned out, as expected, a failure.
WITHDRAWAL OF MILITARY BASES FROM THE VRAEM
Here is not the thing. Another of the demands of the coca growers Castillo’s friends is also the withdrawal from the military bases that operate in the VRAEM against the remnants of the Shining Path, an ally of the coca growers and drug traffickers. Another dream that would come true.
Already last April, the Peru21 newspaper warned that the president had the intention of closing forty counter-subversive bases and turning them into “production centers” and development.
“What is the president up to with this whole plan?” I ask the same anti-drug official. “Not only he seeks social and electoral support from the coca growers. They are thousands upon thousands. The theme goes further. Don’t forget that drug trafficking moves enough mountains of money to keep a corrupt regime in power”, he replies.
Drug trafficking, gentlemen, is partying. Master word. See you the other Tuesday.
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