Talks hope to solve Huanuco coca problem

In 90 days the number of maceration pits, or first level cocaine labs, present in Huánuco will be known exactly, according to regional president Jorge Espinoza. The valleys being inspected will be those of Monzón, Puerto Inca, Yanajanca, and Tingo Maria. This is the first decision to come out of talks started yesterday to solve the problem of violent protest by the region’s coca growers. The dialogue aims to discover which areas are growing coca that finds its way into cocaine production, and which areas are suitable for conversion to alternative crops. 

“We will go with representatives of the Public Defense and the Public Ministry to identify the maceration pits in all of those valleys,” Espinoza told the Andina agency. He added that Agriculture Minister Juan Jose Salazar will be visiting Huánuco on May 22nd to implement a variety of measures aimed to find a definitive solution to the coca problem in the region. 

The agreement signed in Lima that ends the coca growers’ strikes that started on April 26th stipulates talks that will last 90 days. During this time, the aim is to identify the social and economic problems facing coca growers in the region and find solutions based on development initiatives and alternative crops. During the 90 day course of the talks, forced eradication of coca and destruction of maceration pits will continue as planned.

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