Peru: pro-coca lawmaker ordered imprisoned

The First Supra-provincial Court of Lima on July 30 issued an order of preventative detention against ex-lawmaker Nancy Obreg贸n, on suspicion of narco-trafficking and “collaboration with terrorism.” Obreg贸n, who rose to prominence as a leader of peasant coca-growers, was taken into custody by troops of the National Anti-drug Directorate (DINANDRO), and turned over to judicial authorities for interrogation. Her case will then return to a judge who will decide whether she is to be held for the full 15 days permissible under Peruvian law.

Obreg贸n was similarly held under preventative detention last July, when National Police troops carried out simultaneous raids on her home in the Pueblo Libre district of Lima and campesino cummunities in Tocache, San Mart铆n. Family members were also detained in that operation. (RPP, July 30)

Obreg贸n, a leader of the Peruvian National Confederation of Cocaleros (CONPACCP) , was elected to Peru’s Congress in 2006, pledging to fight for the “decriminalization and industrialization of coca leaf” as well as official recognition of the plant as a “cultural patrimony.” Ironically, she was elected on the ticket of the Union for Peru (UPP), a part of the coalition that backed current President Ollanta Humala in his first presidential bid that year. (IPS, July 24, 2006)

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