The Government of Peru has executed more than S/1 billion (around US$295.5 million) in the development of the Valley of Apurimac, Ene, and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), State-run National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida)
Executive President Ruben Vargas said on Sunday.
The aim was to combat illegal cultivation of coca leaves in 2019 —the first year of the comprehensive strategy implementation in the area.
In statements to Andina news agency
, the Devida representative explained that the strategy implies, on the one hand, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking led by the Ministries of Defense and Interior and, on the other hand, the alternative development implemented by Devida together with productive sectors.
"S/72 million (about US$21.2 million) of the direct execution came from Devida, and the investment executed by the national Government and sectors such as transportation, housing, agriculture, and education exceed the S/1 billion (around US$295.5 million) executed in 2019," the official said.
In the case of Devida, he said, S/72 million (about US$21.2 million) were allocated to productive projects and the maintenance of local roads where these projects are implemented.
As he noted, to date, more than 4,500 hectares of alternative crops to coca, such as coffee and cocoa, have been planted and, to date, more than 40 processing plants are being installed for such products.
Vargas also noted that Devida currently has four offices in VRAEM (in the past, its presence limited to Huamanga province) with more than 300 technicians and field engineers, with whom it has worked to achieve the goals.
"More than 80% of technicians and engineers are from the area. No other institution can replicate this extremely important indicator. They know the land, they work for their neighbors, their districts, and their neighborhoods. They assume a double commitment: with the population and Devida," he emphasized.