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Peru declares emergency at coca-growing frontier

September 11, 2014

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peru has decreed a 60-day state of emergency in an Amazon River region bordering Brazil and Colombia where cocaine trafficking has been on the rise.

The emergency declared Thursday is a first for the region of 36,000 inhabitants, which the U.N. says had 6 percent of Peru’s coca crop last year. It lets security forces search homes without warrants, detain people without charge, expel foreigners and bar assembly.

More than 80 people have been tried on drug trafficking charges the past year in the region’s biggest town, Caballococha. Colombia’s Leticia is just across the Amazon.

In July, a Peruvian counter-drug agent on a cocaine lab-destroying mission was shot and killed there in an ambush by apparent traffickers.

Peru has been the world’s No. 1 in cocaine-producing country since 2012

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