Newly released data on coca cultivation and cocaine production in Bolivia and Peru shows little significant change from last year, reinforcing the notion that booming production in Colombia is the primary factor driving an increase in the amount of the drug on the world market.
With four former presidents either in jail or fleeing arrest and another top politician now facing allegations of money laundering, Peru is steadily uprooting the entrenched corruption plaguing its political system. But without much-needed legislative reform, its institutions will remain susceptible to criminality.
The capture of the head of Peru's own "Mara Salvatrucha" is likely an example of Central America's MS13 inspiring similar -- but probably unconnected -- criminal operations far from home.
On July 26, Peru's counternarcotics police arrested David Bazán Arévalo, the mayor of Tocache, on charges of financing and supplying weapons of war to a narco-terrorist faction of the Shining Path operating in the Huallaga River region since the 1980s. Ojo Público accessed official documents detailing the investigation of Bazán Arévalo as an alleged member of a drug trafficking organization and as a coordinator and financer of a 2007 terrorist attack that killed a public prosecutor and three police officers in Tocache.