LIMA – President Alan Garcia said he is willing to accept U.S. military aid to combat drug traffickers, provided that this help is in the logistical and training areas, a Peruvian newspaper reported Sunday, citing an interview the head of state recently gave.
“On all matters that are humane and universal, I don’t have any disagreement over sovereignty and patriotism. That is, if the Americans would like to put training troops (here), as they have helicopters, as they have satellite trainers here, it’s just at the right time,” Garcia said.
Garcia made his remarks in an interview he gave to CNN en Español which will be broadcast next Tuesday and to which certain local media gained advance access.
The Peruvian president also mentioned U.S. counterpart Barack Obama and the economic aid that Washington is providing to the fight against drug trafficking in Peru, saying that the amount of aid is not enough.
“President Obama posed the same question to me and I told him that it’s his fault because ‘you have put all the money in Colombia with Plan Colombia, and in Peru, zero,’” Garcia said.
In recent years, the production of coca leaf and the manufacture of cocaine have grown in Peru to the point that the country has become the world’s major grower of the plant.
Simultaneously, as the head of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs, or Devida, Romulo Puzarro, has said that the U.S. economic aid has been declining year by year, since Washington has calculated that the Peruvian-produced drug is being smuggled mainly to Europe and not to the United States.
“What is necessary is not being done to close the new European and Asian markets that are demanding more drug,” Garcia said in the interview.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said in June that Peru had surpassed Colombia as the world’s leading source of coca, the raw material for cocaine, producing 119,000 metric tons of the leaf in 2009.