Fighting between farmers and security forces killed two people and left one other critically wounded in Puno region on Friday, April 12. The conflict occurred during a coca eradication campaign in San Gaban district around dawn (local time). According to Peruvian police, people armed with machetes attacked a camp of police and civilians. A local mayor claims that police opened fire indiscriminately. An investigation into the incident is underway. Further violence and an increased security presence are possible in Puno and other coca producing regions is possible in the coming weeks and months.
Peru is one of the world's leading producers of cocaine, made from the coca plant, which is a much more lucrative cash crop than regional alternatives. The Peruvian government plans to eradicate 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres) of illegal coca crops by 2021.
Individuals in Puno region, and Peru more generally, are advised to remain vigilant for suspicious behavior, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments, and limit nighttime travel in rural areas.
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