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Apr 03,2007
Peru plans airstrikes on drug trade
by UPI

LIMA - The president of Peru has ordered airstrikes to be carried out on landing strips and drug laboratories hidden in the Amazon jungle.

President Alan Garcia said leaders of the drug trafficking trade must be stopped or else the country could face a drug-fueled insurgency similar to that in neighboring Columbia, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Garcia said at the end of a two-week suspension in efforts to eradicate illegal coca plants negotiated by the country's agriculture minister that the secret airstrips and jungle factories must be destroyed by air bombing or machine guns.

Agriculture Minister Juan Jose Salazar, who negotiated the brief reprieve in the eradication campaign, said that in 10 years the campaign has failed to make any headway and violence and cocaine production have both risen over the time period.

Critics accuse Garcia of talking tough in an effort to impress the United States, where the president is scheduled to visit later this month to discuss the possibility of a free trade agreement

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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