Broken Promises and Coca Eradication in Peru

03 March 2005
Policy briefing

The forced crop eradication policy implemented by the Peruvian government over the past 25 years has failed. The official strategy has exacerbated social conflicts; contributed to various types of subversive violence; jeopardized local economies, also affecting the national economy; and destroyed forests as crops have become more scattered. Worst of all, it has not resolved any of the underlying causes of drug trafficking, such as poverty, marginalisation and government neglect.

  • 2214-8906


  • After being in effect for 43 years, the various schemes for reducing supply, which are spelled out in international treaties on drugs, should be reviewed.
  • Eradication, spraying and even substitution-based rural development have proven largely ineffective, harmful and indiscriminate, and have seriously violated basic collective rights.
  • These measures contradict international, constitutional and legislative norms that seek recognition of and respect for people's culture and traditions.
  • Regulations on illicit crops that were drawn up in 1961 and 1988 conflict with higher-level international norms on the protection of collective rights, which were established later. Authorities — judges, police, district attorneys and other officials — should keep these in mind when enforcing policies.
  • Countries like Peru and Bolivia should build a solid partnership to work to change the international control system, beginning with the coca leaf, and adopt specific measures for liberalising it, with regard to traditional markets.

Pages: 4

Re-Asserting Control: Voluntary Return, Restitution and the Right to Land for IDPs and Refugees in Myanmar - cover