LIMA – Peruvian drug traffickers each year dump into the rivers of the Amazon region some 15 million liters (4 million gallons) of harmful chemicals, the Devida counter-narcotics agency said Thursday.
The dumping causes “an unprecedented destructive effect on the soil, water, biodiversity and human population,” Devida’s Lucio Batallanos said on the eve of World Environment Day.
The 27 chemical products used in the production of cocaine include solvents and acids, he explained.
Batallanos also said that some 2.5 million hectares (6.17 million) acres of jungle have been deforested to sow coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, and he noted that the reforestation of a hectare of degraded jungle costs the state about $1,500.
“With the logging and burning of these hectares flora, fauna and microorganisms that formed part of the cycle of life in nature have been eliminated,” Batallanos said in a communique.
Peru is the world’s second-largest producer of cocaine after Colombia, according to U.N. statistics.
Europe is the main destination for the Peruvian-produced drug. EFE