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Peru Says FARC Growing Coca in Peru

Colombia’s largest rebel group is growing coca — the raw material for cocaine — over the border in northern Peru, an area that has not typically been used to grow coca, Peruvian Defense Minister Roberto Chiabra said on Friday. “There is an increase in cultivation of coca leaf in our territory which requires an operation (to prevent it),” he said during a visit to the southern city of Ayacucho. “If we allow it to grow, it’s going to create a big problem because we know it’s a source of funds for the FARC,” he added, referring to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the biggest rebel group in the world’s No. 1 cocaine producer. The FARC make a living from taxing the cocaine trade. A U.S.-backed war on drugs and the rebels who profit by them has forced some production over the border into Peru, the world’s No. 2 cocaine producer, officials and experts say. Full Story

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