Peru's battle against coca plants resumes

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The Independent US

Peru has resumed the eradication of coca plants used to make cocaine in at least one area of the country after suspending the practice for nearly a week.

The suspension, in an area called Aguaytia in the jungle region of Alto Huallaga, was announced on 17 August and surprised the US ambassador in Peru. The US has tried for years to limit coca production in Peru in its broader drug-control strategy.

Peru is the world's top coca grower and Alto Huallaga is the most densely planted zone, the UN says. The Interior Ministry had said the temporary suspension was part of a redesign of the country's anti-drug programmes under the new President, Ollanta Humala. Peruvians fear their country could surpass Colombia to become the world's No 1 cocaine producer.