• Peru

    Overview of drug laws and legislative trends in Peru


    In Peru, the traditional use of the coca leaf is an ancestral practice which has never been criminalized. In the country there is a scheme of licenses under state control, known as the registry, for the cultivation of coca leaves and their distribution through the National Coca Company (ENACO: Empresa Nacional de la Coca).

    However, while in Peruvian laws consumption or possession of controlled substances for personal use is not punishable, it is estimated that 60 percent of detentions on drug charges are related to use or simple possession. Moreover, the penalties for drug related crimes are relatively high and disproportionate, and infringe upon fundamental rights such as freedom, due process and other judicial guarantees. The penalty for small scale sales of drugs is between one to eight years in prison, according to the Criminal Code.


    Most of the criminal legislation on illicit drug trafficking (IDT) could be found in articles 296 to 303 of the 1991 Criminal Code. In the past years, legislation has been modified to increase penalties, adding and eliminating legal figures. Law 28002, which modified articles 296 to 299 of the Criminal Code was issued on June 17, 2003.

    For the latest news on drug law reform in Peru click here.

  • Drug Laws and Prisons in Peru

    Systems Overload: Drug Laws and Prisons in Latin America

    Peru is a major world producer of coca leaf and its derivatives. Since the year 2000, successive Peruvian administrations have followed a drug policy focused on supply reduction through interdiction and eradication strategies. The law on drugs does not punish drug use or drug possession for personal use by imprisonment. Nonetheless, the Peruvian authorities treat drug use as if it were criminal conduct. As a result, the police are overwhelmed, trials are delayed, and the prisons are filled.

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  • The 'miracle of San Martín' and symptoms of 'alternative development' in Peru

    Hugo Cabieses
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 34
    December 2010

    The Peruvian government has presented the “Miracle of San Martin Model” as the path to follow to achieve drug supply reduction. However a closer look reveals that the model is not replicable, not ecologically sustainable, and won't remedy the ‘symptoms of alternative development’.

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  • Broken promises and coca eradication in Peru

    Ricardo Soberón
    TNI Drug Policy Briefing Nr. 11
    March 2005

    The forced crop eradication policy implemented by the Peruvian government over the past 25 years has failed. The official strategy has exacerbated social conflicts; contributed to various types of subversive violence; jeopardized local economies, also affecting the national economy; and destroyed forests as crops have become more scattered. Worst of all, it has not resolved any of the underlying causes of drug trafficking, such as poverty, marginalisation and government neglect.

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