The Drug War:

U.S. Programs in Peru Face Serious Obstacles

NSIAD-92-36: Published: Oct 21, 1991. Publicly Released: Nov 8, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the U.S. Andean Strategy, focusing on: (1) the effectiveness and management of U.S. military and law enforcement counternarcotics aid to Peru; and (2) factors that affect the U.S. counternarcotics strategy in Peru.

GAO found that: (1) although the United States increased the available amount of law enforcement aid from $10 million to $19 million for fiscal year (FY) 1990, U.S.-provided aid has not significantly reduced drug trafficking activities in Peru; (2) the United States only provided law enforcement aid in FY 1990 and did not provide military aid because Peru would not accept it, but Peru agreed to accept military aid in FY 1991; (3) such obstacles as the Peruvian government's inability to control the military, police, and airports, and the political instability caused by insurgent groups diminish the effectiveness of law and military enforcement aid; (4) due to a lack of effective oversight, U.S. officials are unable to determine if aid is being used effectively and as intended; and (5) the U.S. Embassy has not developed a plan for monitoring military aid to determine whether Peru is improperly using counternarcotics law enforcement aid to train counter insurgency personnel.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The April 5, 1992 self-coup, by Peru's president, resulted in the suspension of U.S. antidrug economic and military aid to Peru. A State Department official stated that "no other plans are needed", the existing bilateral agreement and related plans to support the limited remaining programs have criteria and are adequate.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should ensure that plans are developed and approved by U.S. agencies and their Peruvian counterparts on methods that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. antidrug programs in Peru. Those methods should include: (1) the establishment of reliable criteria for measuring the effectiveness of U.S. programs in reducing coca production in Peru; and (2) assessments of Peru's progress in overcoming impediments hindering the effectiveness of U.S. antidrug programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The suspension of U.S. military assistance for Peru's military in 1992 has resulted in no need for a military end-use monitoring plan.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should ensure that plans are developed for end-use monitoring of the military aid.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The State Department does not agree with the GAO recommendation. The agency's March 20, 1992 letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee states that the U.S. Embassy in Peru has been in compliance with U.S. policy. Furthermore, this type of training was terminated with the suspension of U.S. military assistance to Peru.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should take necessary steps to ensure that the U.S. Embassy complies with policies prohibiting police training for units that are not primarily involved in counternarcotics operations.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

 

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