19-03-2020 Latin American Weekly Report
As region goes into lockdown, two populists play by own rules
Peru’s President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is in China for his first official foreign visit this week as he seeks to attract investment to drive national development and economic growth. Kuczynski’s five-day visit comes directly after his government appealed to congress for powers to legislate for 120 days in an effort to reactivate the economy, as well as to improve public security. The government signalled its intentions in the security sphere this week by re-appointing Carmen Masías Claux as Peru’s drug czar. The decision suggests that renewed emphasis will be placed on coca eradication, and that this might be extended to the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro river valleys (Vraem), Peru’s largest coca-growing area by a distance, where the remnants of the Sendero Luminoso (SL) guerrilla group are based.
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