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'Union' Between Drug Trafficking, Terrorism: Peru Defense Minister

'Union' Between Drug Trafficking, Terrorism: Peru Defense Minister

At a regional meeting of defense ministers, Peru's Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano stated that drug trafficking and terrorism are a "criminal union," highlighting the growing push by governments in the region to conflate the two spheres of criminal activity. Read More

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Although violence in Peru has been relatively low since the end of its civil conflict in the late 1990s, the cocaine trade is on the rise in the country, which surpassed Colombia to become the world's largest producer of cocaine in 2011, according to some estimates. Profits from drug trafficking and illegal logging have fueled a small resurgence of the Shining Path, a Maoist guerrilla group that no longer poses a major threat to the stability of the Peruvian state, but which continues to attack security forces and foreign multinationals in the remote Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM) region of central Peru.

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  • 'Union' Between Drug Trafficking, Terrorism: Peru Defense Minister

    The 11th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Peru

    At a regional meeting of defense ministers, Peru's Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano stated that drug trafficking and terrorism are a "criminal union," highlighting the growing push by governments in the region to conflate the two spheres of criminal activity.

  • 24-Hour Turnaround to Rebuild Peru's Narco-Airstrips

    Airstrip destroyed  by Peruvian security forces

    With the help of locals, drug trafficking groups in Peru's VRAEM have rebuilt more than a quarter of the clandestine airstrips destroyed by security forces in 2014, indicating that new strategies are needed to combat drug flights from the remote region.

  • Peru Elects Suspected Drug Traffickers as Governors

    Peru's elections were riddled with narco-candidates

    As the votes from Peru's regional and local elections continue to be tallied, some candidates suspected of having illicit ties have emerged among the gubernatorial winners -- a sign the pre-election fuss did little to keep "narco" candidates at bay. 

  • Peru 2014 Candidates Show Need for Electoral Reform?

    Mauro Gomez, a candidate with a drug trafficking conviction

    The campaigns leading up to Peru's elections on October 5 have been mired in scandal -- over three hundred candidates have been excluded due to their criminal records, with dozens linked to drug trafficking. InSight Crime takes a look at three candidates who have been caught in the fray.    

  • Colombia, Peru Commit to Fighting Crime in the Amazon

    President Juan Manuel Santos meets President Ollanta Humala in Iquitos

    The presidents of Colombia and Peru signed a bilateral agreement committing to fight drug trafficking and illegal mining in the border region, but the scale of criminal activity in the Amazon suggests more political will is needed to combat organized crime in this area. 

  • Can Peru Rid its Election of Narco-Influence?

    Peru's interior minister listed 124 narco-candidates

    The evidence suggests that Peru's upcoming local elections will be strongly influenced by drug trafficking, a phenomenon with a troubling historical precedent -- but one which the authorities seem to be trying to combat.

  • Peru to Send Investigators to Human Trafficking Hotspots

    Peru has announced plans to hire four special prosecutors to investigate cases of human trafficking, a crime concentrated in regions with high levels of tourism or illegal gold mining.

  • Peru Steps Up Efforts to Cut Cocaine Air Bridge

    Peru's government plans to purchase several military planes and install 10 military bases in the country's principal coca-producing region, supported by a new radar system -- a sign that the world's top cocaine producer is working to cut drug flights to Bolivia.

  • Peru Blows Up Narco Airstrips

    Authorities in Peru have destroyed 54 clandestine landing strips in a major operation targeting aerial drug trafficking, a concerted effort to discourage smugglers from using the so-called air bridge between Peru and Bolivia, but one that will likely bear little fruit. 

  • Smugglers Moving Dominicans From Bolivia to Chile

    Authorities in Bolivia have identified a network of Peruvian coyotes dedicated to smuggling Dominicans into Chile, highlighting how economic changes have spurred the development of new migration patterns and accompanying criminal networks.