US embassy cable - 06LIMA951

HUMALA'S POSITION IS NO TO COCA ERADICATION AND OUT WITH FOREIGN MILITARY

Identifier: 06LIMA951
Wikileaks: View 06LIMA951 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Lima
Created: 2006-03-10 17:02:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV SNAR PE
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0951/01 0691702
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 101702Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9111
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3095
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6561
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 9152
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ MAR QUITO 0106
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0274
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHOND/DIRONDCP WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 000951 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2016 
TAGS: PGOV, SNAR, PE 
SUBJECT: HUMALA'S POSITION IS NO TO COCA ERADICATION AND 
OUT WITH FOREIGN MILITARY 
 
 
Classified By: PolCouns Alex Margulies Reason: 1.4 (b,d) 
 
Summary 
-------- 
1. (C) Ultra-nationalist, "outsider" presidential candidate 
Ollanta Humala condemned alleged aerial fumigation of coca 
crops (which does not occur in Peru) and said, if elected, 
his government would end coca eradication, promote coca 
industrialization, and not welcome foreign military in the 
country.  His declarations came while campaigning in Ayacucho 
in an area of intensive illegal coca production.  While 
on-site Humala placed a symbolic coca plant in the ground and 
sported a "coca is not a drug" T-shirt.  Though previously 
sending mixed messages on eradication, Humala took a clear 
pro-coca stance.  Most interesting however, was his 
misunderstanding or conscious misrepresentation of the U.S. 
counternarcotics program to say he would ban foreign military 
personnel from operating in Peru.  End Summary 
 
Humala pledges an end to eradication 
------------------------------------ 
2. (U) Ultra-nationalist, "outsider" candidate Ollanta Humala 
while campaigning in Ayacucho held a rally in the main plaza 
where he told an estimated 3,000 supporters and press that 
his government would immediately cease coca eradication, 
promote coca industrialization, and stop coca crop fumigation 
(which does not occur in Peru).  Afterward he traveled to 
nearby rural coca growing areas of the Apurimac and Ene River 
Valley (VRAE) where he met with cocaleros, planted a coca 
plant, and continued his pro-coca discourse.  (Note: The VRAE 
is an area where 98% of the coca is illegal and there is no 
history of traditional use.  End Note.)  Humala told 
reporters that he favored profitable crop substitution and 
that the GOP should improve roads and ensure that these 
products reach markets.  (Note: In a 1/30 press interview 
with Argentine daily "El Clarin", Humala was quoted as saying 
he favored eradication of illegal coca.  End Note.) 
 
3. (U) In his campaign swing, Humala was accompanied by his 
Andean Parliament candidate and cocalero leader Elsa 
Malpartida.  Humala reportedly wore a T-shirt that read, 
"Coca leaf is not a drug."  Humala told the press and 
supporters that he would prevent the fumigation of coca 
fields and that spraying harms other productive crops. 
Malpartida showed Humala what she falsely claimed was a 
destroyed coca field that had been sprayed with chemicals 
from police helicopters.  Humala said he would defend the 
legal productive activities of coca growers in the zone. 
Humala also told reporters that he did not see a relationship 
between narcotrafficking and terrorism. 
 
Humala says Industrialization is the answer 
------------------------------------------- 
4. (U) Humala told reporters in late January and again on his 
recent trip to Ayacucho that industrialization of coca is the 
solution to the coca problem. At the Ayacucho rally he said 
that the over-production of coca is an agricultural issue and 
not a Ministry of Interior (police/security) issue.  On 3/8, 
Humala party spokesperson, Daniel Abugattas told the press 
that an Humala government would distribute some 27 million 
pieces per day of bread made from coca flour for social 
programs including feeding poor, hungry children. 
 
5. (C) Isaac Mekler, Humala's Congressional candidate for 
Callao, told Poloffs in January that the coca issue is 
important to Humala because of the "thousands of families" 
growing coca without an alternative source of income.  Mekler 
said Humala believes it is "inhumane" to destroy their farms 
and their livelihoods.  According to Mekler, Humala's coca 
policy will likely be two-fold: 
 
-- in the near term, crop substitution with subsidies 
including roads, services, infrastructure; and 
 
--in the long term, industrialization of coca. 
 
6. (C) Mekler said Humala realizes the licit coca market 
currently is not large enough to absorb the supply, however 
he expects that scientific advances will increase the uses 
and demand for licit coca.  (Note: Humala in his recent coca 
industrialization rhetoric does not acknowledge these flaws 
 
in his argument.  End Note.)  Former Interior Minister 
Fernando Rospigliosi has recently emphasized in the press 
that industrialization cannot absorb the supply of coca since 
only 0.2 percent of the 110,000 tons of coca leaf that Peru 
produces goes to industrial uses. 
 
Humala says no foreign military in Peru 
--------------------------------------- 
7. (C) In response to a misinformed question (see below) from 
an "El Comercio" reporter about how an Humala government 
would deal with the DEA and aircraft interdiction flights, 
Humala said, "I am not in favor of foreign forces in my 
country. Therefore in a nationalist government we will 
re-establish the equilibrium that, here in Peru, the only 
military forces that should exist and prevail are the 
Peruvian armed forces." (Note: While Humala's statement was 
in response to a question on counternarcotics interdiction, 
it seems to apply generally to foreign  military. Aerial 
interdiction terminated in Peru in April 2001 following the 
shootdown of a plane carrying American missionaries. End 
Note.)  Humala elaborated, saying that aircraft interdiction 
should be done by Peruvian military or police.  In response 
to a direct question on whether Humala would let DEA and NAS 
stay in the country, Humala equivocated, "if they are 
military forces, no; they would not stay in the country.  I 
am not in favor, I repeat, of foreign forces in my country. 
That I would not allow." 
 
 
Comment 
------------ 
8. (C) Humala's coming clean on his pro-coca stance was not a 
surprise.  He, along with his pro-coca congressional 
candidates are using the strategy of Bolivian President Evo 
Morales and others to decouple the problem of coca 
cultivation from cocaine production and trafficking.  Humala 
is either poorly informed on, or consciously misrepresenting, 
the counternarcotics program, as he perpetuates the myths of 
fumigation/spraying as well as the idea that 
industrialization is a viable option.  Of particular interest 
is Humala's hostile response to the role of the U.S. military 
in Peru, which he, of course, misrepresented. 
Counternarcotics is a police issue in Peru. Office of 
Aviation Police (DIRAVPOL) pilots fly NAS helicopters. End 
Comment. 
POWERS 

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