Malpartida suggests official register of legal coca growers

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Leaving her meeting with interior minister Luis Alva Castro and Devida (the anti-narcotics group), Andean Parliament member and “voice of the coca growers” Elsa Malpartida welcomed the government’s favourable attitude towards talks about coca eradication programs.

“We are still debating the issue, but I believe that the political will exists to solve this problem. We trust in this, and hope for a response later,” she said, explaining that both parties hope to find a way to differentiate between legal growers and those whose produce is destined for cocaine production.

Other elected officials from the Upper Huallaga zone were also present at the meeting, hoping to find a peaceful solution to the problem that has already led to a blockade formed by producers opposed to the government’s eradication program.

“I am trying to contact [protesting growers in] San Martín to pass on to them the results of our conversations. There is a good political willingness on the part of the Ministry of the Interior to hold talks and spread calm in these zones,” she said, calling on the protesters to lift their road blocks  on the grounds that the government is cooperating.

Malpartida suggested that the protesters will disperse today and that talks will begin, saying that “when you establish a new law, you have to take account and make an official register of legal growers, and we are all peaceful and happy.”

She took advantage of her impromptu press conference to call on president García not to adopt intransigent positions, saying that the famine and misery that coca growers complain of will only be dispelled by a flexible attitude from both parties.

According to CPN, the representative of the coca growers stated that “forced eradication has no effects, except to provoke a rebellion amongst all the people”. She also stressed the need to draft a law whereby everyone could make their contribution, allowing eradication to begin through the formation of an official register.

She went on to say that the war on drugs in Peru is failing because instead of attacking the traffickers, authorities treat the growers as enemies. She believes that the real enemies are the producers of the precursor chemicals necessary for cocaine production.

“We talk about a war on drugs. But if there is a war, we must be able to identify the enemy. In this case the government has identified the coca growers as the enemy, they have attacked them through a thirty-year program of eradication, and there have been no results. Drug traffic continues just below the surface.”

On the other hand, Malpartida leveled allegations that people are trying to inhibit her political career and force her out of office, through the court cases pending against her.

See also:
Coca growers block the Belaunde highway
Government “will not back down” over coca protest
Police raid cocaine lab, seize military weapons
“Coca growers no longer believe in Nancy Obregon”
Obregon feels “threatened” by US ambassador

One Response

  1. MSN I NIIPET
    MSN

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