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CARACAS, November 11. /TASS/. In Peru police special forces have eliminated 8 cocaine production laboratories situated in one of the most troubled regions of the country, valley of the rivers Apurimac and Ene, characterized by rough forest landscape. A total of almost 6 tons of chemicals used for cocaine production have been eliminated and 3 tons of dry coca leaves have been burnt.
In recent years Peru became first in the world in terms of acreage of coca-bush planting that is used as raw material for cocaine production. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Peru coca planting acreage accounted for 49,000 hectares at the end of the last year. Peruvian President Ollanta Humala set a task for law enforcement and defense ministries of reducing plantation acreage by 30,000 hectares over this year. In 1990-s coca plantations were significantly bigger accounting to 135,000 hectares at certain period.
According to experts, 128,000 tons of coca leaves are harvested every year in Peru, 120,000 out of which are used for cocaine production. In Peru there are 14 major areas where coca that locals use a stimulator is grown. In some regions coca-growing is successfully replaced by other crops. For instance, in San Martin the reduction of coca plantations from 50,000 to 1,000 hectares was achieved. The process has already been going on for 20 years.
In recent years extremists from Sendero Luminoso terrorist organization turned drug trafficking into the premier funding source for their subversive activities. The most troubled region of the country in this regard is the Apurimac and Ene valley. The Ministry of Home Affairs is working on blocking all transport corridors that drug mafias use to deliver chemicals necessary to produce cocaine. Road blocking is an effective measure in drug trafficking fight that is produced in clandestine drug laboratories. Police operates in the Apurimac and Ene valley together with armed forces units that fight against Sendero Luminoso units in the region. At the same time elimination of coca-bush plantations in the trouble area is going on.