Peru: ‘opium mafia’ revealed in national police

The local anti-drug Fiscal (prosecutor) in Chachapoyas province, Amazonas region, has opened an investigation into 25 suspected of running an “opium mafia” within the security services. Among the 25 are six members of the National Police, a provincial prosecutor, and a pilot contracted by the DEA. The group is accused of overseeing the commercialization of poppy crops in ​Rodríguez de Mendoza province, a remote high jungle area of Amazonas. The pilot, whose name has not been released, worked for a local company used by the DEA. Opium production has boomed in Amazonas region over the past five years, and authorities say morphine laboratories have been established in the jungle. (La Republica, RPPAeronoticias, May 19)