Illegal drug trade in Peru

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A site specific wordplay painting from "Above" in Lima, Peru commenting on the cocaine crisis and exportation

The illegal drug trade in Peru includes the growing of coca and the shipment of cocaine to the United States. In an example of the balloon effect, dramatic falls in coca cultivation in the late 1990s saw cultivation move to Colombia.[1]


Vladimiro Montesinos was the long-standing head of Peru's intelligence service, Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (SIN), under President Alberto Fujimori. In 2000, secret videos were televised revealing him bribing an elected congressman to leave the opposition and join the Fujimorist side of Congress.

The ensuing scandal caused Montesinos to flee the country, hastening the resignation of Fujimori. Subsequent investigations revealed Montesinos to be at the centre of a vast web of illegal activities, including embezzlement, graft, gunrunning, and drug trafficking, for which he is currently being tried. Montesinos had strong connections with the CIA, the American Intelligence Agency, having received some $10 Million from the agency.[2]

In 2001 American Christian missionary Roni Bowers's plane was shot down by the Peruvian Air Force, in the belief it was carrying drugs.[3]

In 2004 Fernando Zevallos, founder of airline Aero Continente, was added to the US list of drug kingpins. The Chilean government accused the airline's personnel of using their airplanes for trafficking drugs and subsequently grounded Aero Continente Chile in June 2002 and seized their assets.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Stopping it, How Government Try--And Fail--to Stem the Flow of Drugs". The Economist. July 26, 2001.  "The main targets of American supply-reduction campaigns over the years have been Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The net effect appears to have been a relocation and reorganisation of production, not a cutback. Dramatic falls in coca cultivation in Peru and Bolivia in the late 1990s coincided with an equally dramatic rise in Colombia, even though almost all the top people in Colombia's notorious Cali cartel had been jailed in the mid-1990s."
  2. ^ Angel Paez, CIA Gave $10 Million to Peru's Ex-Spymaster, 'AlterNet News, July 3, 2001. Accessed online 21 March 2010.
  3. ^ Amanda Ripley (Apr 29, 2001). "A Mission Interrupted". Time. Retrieved 2008-09-13.