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Peru Cocaine Output Rivals Colombia as World’s Largest

Peru’s production of coca, the plant used to make cocaine, has risen for a fifth straight year, putting pressure on incoming President Ollanta Humala to step up eradication efforts he has criticized.

A study by the United Nations published today shows that Peru now rivals Colombia as the world’s largest producer of cocaine after land dedicated to illegal coca production rose 2.2 percent to 61,200 hectares in 2010. Cultivation in Colombia, which receives $500 million a year in U.S. anti-narcotics aid, fell 15 percent to 62,000 hectares, according to the study based on satellite tracking by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.