coca: the plant that feeds peru - black plastic sheeting
The young mother said: "The only time we eat well is in the harvest season . " She runs barefoot through her ankle.
A pile of thick coca leaves-a key ingredient for cocaine and fast gram-is mixed to ensure they are evenly dried in harsh tropical sunlight.
"For the rest of the year, rice, bananas and cassava may eat meat or fish once a week.
The leaves are laid on black plastic sheets covering the entire square (
About two tennis court-sized areas)
At the Pueblo library, a small village consists of a dozen wooden sheds without running water or sewers.
Hamlet has been on electricity for more than a month.
In the evening, once the leaves dry and put into the bag, the family folded the sheets and slept on them.
Someone got rich from the drug trade in Peru's isolated Apurimac and the center of Ene river Valley (
Its Spanish initials VRAE)
According to the latest United Nations data, coca production exceeds anywhere else on Earth.
But, not the smallholders of Pueblo leburi start to make a living on the steep side of this lush, stunning valley, as it winds from the Andes to the Amazon
Families here say they produce about 300 Peruvian sol (roughly £70)
They said that on the other side of Lima and the Andes, coca was abandoned by one government after another and was their only source of cash, and everything else they planted was for their own survival.
"They called us Naco.
But that's not true, "said the woman, who declined to be named.
It is not clear whether she is most afraid of the counter-attack by law enforcement or the counter-attack by drug cartels for giving me this rare interview.
"We're just trying to get through it.
Without Coca-Cola, we would not be able to feed our children.
"However, VRAE is still ravaged by the monopoly remnants of the rebels on the brutal Glorious Road.
Most of the valley is not.
It was not until recently that the Peruvian security forces began operations.
Insurgents often ambush troops and police on foot patrols and occasionally shoot down helicopters.
It is said that the organization also charged protection fees to cartels, and the price of drugs leaving VRAE per ton was about £ 3,000.
At the same time, the secret field lab processed the leaves into cocaine, crack and cocaine pasteprice, highly-
Addictive compounds are the preferred drug for many slums in South America, scattered in steep forests above us.
It is estimated that there are 10 hidden airstrips all over the valley, and under the cover of darkness, light aircraft carry their illegal goods to Bolivia and Brazil, the first of these drugs on a global journey
While most Colombian cocaine is eventually in the United States, most of the cocaine in Peru and Bolivia is consumed in Europe.
So far, in VRAE, there are no other crops that provide fixed income like coca did.
A native plant grown here and harvested four times a year.
Coffee and a major alternative are not available to compete.
Farmers say they need five acres of land for two crops in order to match the return of an acre of coca.
But this may be the least challenge in developing alternative methods that rely on drug dealers.
Given its bad reputation, few private coffee or cocoa buyers are willing to travel to VRAE, while farmers cannot afford to ship their goods out of the valley.
However, with coca, buyers even visit the most remote villages several times a week.
Some come from Enaco, the official agency of the Peruvian government, where growers can register the agreed quantity of coca plants.
Coca has been a staple in the Andes for thousands of years, and from Bolivia to Colombia, coca is still legal and widely used.
Locals chew on its leaves, a mild stimulant that makes a buzz no stronger than espresso and can be used to treat diseases from altitude sickness to menstrual pain.
When time is particularly difficult, they use it to ease the pain of hunger.
But Enaco and its legitimate products, including candy and infusion, account for only a small portion of the Peruvian coca supply, probably only 15.
The rest is bought in the middle.
Men who work for drug cartels, usually at a premium of 10 cents, have no questions about quality.
Things may change soon, however.
Under pressure from Washington, President humanta Humala vowed to control VRAE and send paramilitary police to destroy coca plants with their hands.
The government has recently achieved a wave of military success in its struggle against the glorious road --
Several leaders were killed and arrested.
To make way for the military air base, it also commandeered nearly 1,200 acres of major farmland in the valley.
At the same time, despite the terrorist arson attack on construction equipment on last July, workers finally began laying the main route to VRAE.
The police will cancel their work.
According to the United Nations, Peru has recently replaced Colombia as the world's largest producer of coca.
About 1 out of 3 crops in the country, 19,965 hectares (49,000 acres)
Exactly, it was planted in VRAE.
In the long run, this is almost equivalent to Bolivia's production, accounting for nearly half of Colombia's total national output.
However, as the government takes action to destroy the livelihoods of some 10,000 families across the valley, there are plenty of people predicting trouble.
"We will die with our plants," said the mother from Pueblo Bray . ".
Julian Perez, former secretary of the local federation of agriculture FEPAVRAE, said: "No one denies drugs --
Trafficking and terrorism here.
The question is how do you deal with it?
VRAE will explode if they try to eradicate coca.
What are they trying to achieve, more poverty, Holocaust?
What we need is solutions, not suppression.
When the "war on drugs" in Washington began, he dreamed loudly of developing a Marshall Plan for VRAE, including decent schools and clinics, and VRAE might be able to develop its own brand of legitimate energy drinks.
In the village of Otari, in order to make way for the military air base, Kecizate Atahualpa, a local Ashaninka activist, is tired of discussing the upcoming eradication action.
For him, this will be the latest atrocity committed against his people.
"We have the same view of narcos as the United States," he said . ".
"We don't want them here.
Coca is a sacred plant for us.
This is part of our culture.
It was white people who started making cocaine, not us.
Now we grow and sell coca.
We don't know where it will go, but what should we do?
No one wants to buy other products. ”For decision-
The automaker in Lima, solving the problem may still be the only way to really break the automaker's grip on this turbulent corner of the Andes.
No question: The Story of cocaine * there are 133,000 hectares, according to the United Nations (329,000 acres)
In 2012, the three major producers of Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, coca. Nearly one-
The sixth of this total is in VRAE.
* In the Andes, the dried leaves of coca are usually chewed to cause a slight buzz and to relieve symptoms of altitude sickness, hunger and a range of diseases.
Cocaine is one of more than a dozen active compounds naturally present in the lower concentration of coca, and contributes to this sensational effect.
In 1855, the first cocaine was discovered by German chemist fririch Gaedcke.
It takes about a ton of leaves to make a pound of cocaine.
* Cocaine in Coca's original 1886 recipe-
Coke, although the company began using leaves to remove cocaine in 1903.
* Cocaine was widely used as an appetite-reducing drug and local anesthetic until it was banned in the United States and Europe in the early 20 th century.