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Peru Aims to Eradicate Record-Setting 22,000 Hectares of Coca in 2013

first_img LIMA — Peru’s government wants the world to know it’s dead serious about eliminating illegal coca crops used to produce cocaine. Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza announced Jan. 14 that his government will eradicate at least 22,000 hectares of coca in 2013. This is 4,000 hectares more than the original target for the year, and well above the record-breaking 14,100 hectares destroyed in 2012. Meeting the ambitious eradication target would be a major step in reversing the upward trend in Peruvian coca production that began around 2005. While previous governments met eradication targets, coca-growing farmers replanted at a faster rate. The government’s new plan includes a much broader reach for the eradication squad, known by its Spanish acronym CORAH, an increase in the budget for coca eradication and drug interdiction, and a program to dramatically boost the state’s presence not only in zones where coca is currently grown, but in areas where it could be grown. “We are developing post-coca and preventative strategies,” said Mario Ríos, head of the promotion and monitoring unit at state anti-drug agency DEVIDA. “We need to provide alternatives to farmers leaving coca, and make sure coca does not spread to other areas.” It’s still unclear if the CORAH eradication brigades will move into Loreto. Zarate said an eradication program similar to the Upper Huallaga would be too costly, because of the remoteness of the area. An alternative would be periodic eradication missions, as well as anti-drug operations coordinated with Brazilian and Colombian authorities. Peru and Brazil set up a task force late last year to develop protocols for joint police and military operations in border zones, given the fact that the two countries share nearly 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) of jungle border. Peru recorded 62,500 hectares of coca in 2011, according to the annual report presented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an increase of slightly more than 2 percent over the previous year. That gain came despite the eradication of more than 12,000 hectares in 2010. Peru is the world’s second-largest coca producer, according to UNODC figures — right behind first-place Colombia, with 64,000 hectares under cultivation, and ahead of Bolivia, with 27,200 hectares. President Ollanta Humala has declared he’d like to see Peru fall to last place by the time he leaves office in July 2016. While estimates differ on production, most analysts believe Peru produces between 350 and 400 metric tons of cocaine annually. TThe Peruvian government had kept eradication brigades out of the VRAEM for fear of a social explosion, fueled not only by the Shining Path and drug traffickers, but also due to the lack of a state presence. Yet the Humala government, faced with increased violence and the spread of coca crops in the Belgium-sized zone, ultimately announced a major offensive for 2013. The Humala administration has earmarked $1.1 billion for the VRAEM this year, more than double the previous year’s budget. This includes major outlays in roads, water, electricity systems, education and health care. Defense Minister Pedro Cateriano announced in late December that the state would also incur $300 million in new debt in 2013 to fight terrorism and drug trafficking in the zone, including the construction of eight anti-terrorism bases and acquisition of boats and aircraft. Former coca farmer Teodoro Rojas said extending eradication to the VRAEM is contingent upon the government following through on its development pledge. “Coca can be eradicated, but the state also needs to eradicate the root cause behind coca-growing, which is poverty,” he said. “If the root cause is not eliminated, coca will only spread elsewhere.” Ríos said that Loreto is “a troubling new scenario. We are seeing a spread of coca and [opium] poppies happening at a fast pace.” Retired Police Gen. Juan Zarate, who coordinates CORAH, said the VRAEM and Loreto pose different challenges. The issue in the VRAEM, according to Zarate, is security, and the eradicators will require protection. This should be helped by legislation passed by Congress in late 2012, which gives Peru’s Armed Forces a role in fighting drugs. The government estimates that it will need at least six years to get a firm grip on the coca-cocaine problem in the VRAEM. The Humala administration has budgeted about $15 million for CORAH in 2013. This may not seem like much, but it’s the first time the program has its own line item in the budget. In the past, CORAH has been funded primarily by international donors led by the United States and the 27-member European Union. CORAH extends coca eradication efforts to VRAEM By Dialogo January 21, 2013center_img This year, Peru plans to extend its forced eradication program to major hotspots. The eradication brigade, CORAH, has focused exclusively on the northern Upper Huallaga Valley since its founding. Ríos said the coming year will see eradication in the valleys formed by the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro rivers, known as the VRAEM, and possibly in the Putumayo zone, in the department of Loreto, along the northern border where Peru meets Brazil and Colombia. In 2012, the VRAEM was home to nearly 20,000 hectares of coca, said the UNODC report, accounting for 32 percent of Peru’s total land devoted to coca cultivation. Coca crops have been on the rise there since early in the past decade. The area — the last bastion of leftist Shining Path rebels — has also been under a state of emergency since June 2003. Last year saw a jump in Shining Path violence, including the mass kidnapping of gas pipeline workers in April, and the killing of 20 police officers and soldiers. While coca crops in Loreto represented just 7 percent of land used for coca in the UNODC report, they have expanded rapidly, increasing from 1,209 hectares in 2008 to 4,450 hectares in 2011; that same year, coca output jumped by 40 percent. “This is the first time there will be eradication in the VRAEM and it has to be done correctly, accompanied by a state platform that provides all the necessary services. Isolated programs will not work,” said Ríos. Authorities say eradication will succeed only if coca farmers have viable alternatives and markets for what they grow. Peru has already replaced coca with coffee and cacao; other alternative products that show promise include rubber, biofuels and tropical fruits. “Alternative development is working and we are focusing on cooperation, not only in financial assistance but cooperation for technical assistance, creating markets and certifying products. We have to guarantee a diversity of products and markets for farmers,” said Carmen Masias, the director of DEVIDA. Project gets $1.1 billion in funding this year last_img read more

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Yannick Bolasie hails Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew for improved goal tally

first_img “I don’t have a total (in mind) but I think the improvements you see – four goals last season and four goals already this season,” Bolasie said. “You don’t just build a player overnight, everything has to come gradually. “I don’t think people really expect it. I wasn’t really in the box last season but this season I am in the box a lot more, I am picking up little scraps and so far I have got goals off scraps. “I think it’s all down to the gaffer and what he does in training and you can see it in the boys.” After the disappointing loss to Sunderland on Monday, Palace were keen to move on and give something back to the supporters. “It was a great result for the team,” Bolasie said. “It was good to bounce back from Monday’s result. “Today is obviously encouraging for us and we will move on straight away to focus on Everton next week. “In football, I think it is how you bounce back and you could say the attackers on Monday were a bit disappointed. The south London side thrashed Newcastle on Saturday, with the 5-1 win seeing the Eagles rise to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table. Bolasie netted twice in the comprehensive win, taking him to four overall – the same tally he managed over the whole of the 2014/15 campaign. Press Association “Today more than made up for Monday, but the game is gone today and we have to look forward to Everton. “It’s done a lot for confidence and we play Everton next week, who are another team who we normally have good games against, but every season is different so that will be another tough game for sure.” Bakary Sako is out of the clash with a hamstring injury and Wilfried Zaha is suspended, but Bolasie is not concerned about the strength in depth. “It’s tough right now but hopefully someone like Chungy (Lee Chung-yong) can come in and step up to the plate and that’s the reason why we have such a good squad. “You think of the players who have been left out, like Frazer Campbell, Jordan Mutch, so there are still players who can come in and do a good job.” Yannick Bolasie is delighted to have already equalled his last season’s goal tally and believes Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew deserves all the credit.last_img read more

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Football Bees’ rally against C-NS falls just short

first_imgA minute remained in the half and the Northstars surprised the Bees with an onside kick, recovering it at midfield. Just 11 seconds before intermission, J.J. Razmovski found a streaking Adron Pafford down the right sideline for a 37-yard scoring play.In a span of less than four minutes, a close contest was now a 28-7 game, and B’ville could not afford to fall further behind. Instead, it began to climb back, sparked by a defense that held C-NS without a first down in the third quarter.Mixing in runs and passes from Braden McCard (including a 20-yard tipped pass to Pat May on fourth down, the Bees drove to the one, where Strong scored his second TD of the night.Then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, McCard, from his own 40, threw down the left sideline to Pat May, who caught it, cut back and found the end zone, and the Bees were within a score, 28-21, with plenty of time to catch up.Pinned at its own 13-yard line after the ensuing kickoff, C-NS regrouped, and Razmovski made his three best throws of the night.One was a third-down pass to Mason Ellis that covered 23 yards. Then, on fourth-and-four at the Bees’ 47, Razmovski hit Pafford, who broke tackles on a 37-yard run to set up first-and-goal. Three plays later, Pafford lost his defender on a cut to the middle and Razmovski found him again, the TD covering 12 yards with 4:55 to play.That turned out to be the game-winner because B’ville again responded, McCard throwing a 12-yard TD pass to May with 1:13 left, but an onside kick was smothered by the Northstars, who were able to run out the clock.McCard completed eight of 10 passes for 177 yards and also ran for a career-best 103 yards on 10 carries, while Strong finished with 142 yards on 24 carries. May and Robert Hamm led the defense with seven tackles apiece as Dan Ewald added five tackles and three assists.B’ville (2-2 league, 3-3 overall) visits Fayetteville-Manlius (1-3 league, 2-4 overall) in next Friday’s regular-season finale. Only a win guarantees a post-season berth since a loss creates a three-way tie for third between the Bees, Hornets and the winner of the West Genesee-Rome Free Academy game, and of those three, two will qualify for the playoffs.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story In the past, if the Baldwinsville football team ever had to face a three-touchdown-deficit in the second half, its style of play would almost preclude any idea for a glorious comeback.Yet on Friday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, the Bees found itself battling back against visiting Cicero-North Syracuse, knowing that if it could complete its rally from a 28-7 hole, it would likely host a first-round Section III Class AA playoff game.B’ville did find the end zone three times – but it wasn’t quite enough as the Northstars parlayed a fourth-quarter scoring drive into a tense 35-28 victory and a chance to grab the Class AA-2 division regular-season title if it beats Utica Proctor next weekend. Both teams arrived at this game with 2-1 league marks, and they would trade scoring drives in the early going, C-NS taking a 7-0 lead, B’ville countering with a strong ground attack anchored by Willie Strong as he scored on a one-yard plunge early in the second quarter.It was still 7-7 when C-NS erupted late in the half. The catalyst was a scoring drive familiar to B’ville fans where the Northstars ran the ball on all 12 plays, with Mike Washington getting 11 of those carries and going the final yard for the TD.By contrast, the next time C-NS had the ball after a fourth-down stop by the defense at the B’ville 38, Washington needed only one play to sprint 62 yards to the end zone, making it 21-7.center_img Tags: Baldwinsvillefootballlast_img read more

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