Peru’s police say they have detained more than 200 “drug mules” at Lima’s international airports so far this year, and that more than 70 percent of those are foreign nationals, many of them from Spain.
Between January and October of this year, the Peruvian National Police (PNP) detained 232 individuals for illegally transporting drugs, according to a report in newspaper El Comercio. Of those arrested, 165 were of foreign origin, including 42 Spanish nationals, 15 Mexicans, and nine British.
Spain is a key distribution point for Peruvian cocaine arriving to Europe via the Southern Cone and West Africa (see pdf version of the 2011 UN World Drug report here).
As InSight Crime has reported, new data from the U.S. government places Peru as the foremost producer of pure cocaine in the world, surpassing Colombia for the first time since 1995. Much of Peru’s cocaine is destined for the growing cocaine market in Europe, which the UN estimates to be worth $33 million annually.