An introduction to the VRAE, a Peruvian cocalero valley
Paper short abstract:
This paper presents an overview of the valley of the rivers Apurímac and Ene (VRAE), which is one of the main centres of production of coca and cocaine paste in Peru. It explores how drug-trafficking, terrorism, and state policies affect this valley and its most important local collectives and organisations.
Paper long abstract:
The valley of the rivers Apurímac and Ene (VRAE) is one of the main centres of production of coca and cocaine paste in Peru. This is a jungle area located in the southern highland region of Ayacucho, and is notorious for the presence of drug-trafficking and the last remnants of the Maoist guerrillas of Shining Path. As a result, the valley occupies a central place in counter-insurgency and drugs-related policies in Peru, and it has been somehow "demonised" in the national imaginary. This paper presents an overview of how these phenomena (drug-trafficking, terrorism, state policies) affect this valley and its most important local collectives and organisations (cocalero producers and unions, indigenous groups, NGOs), challenging dominant stereotypes about this and other cocalero valleys in Peru.
Drugs in Latin America in the early twenty-first century