Peru Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Peru’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

Security officials estimate that racketeering by organized crime groups in Peru earn between $5 Billion to $7 Billion a year.

Cocaine production in Peru is estimated to be around 325 tons per year, which generates over $1 Billion a year. Cocaine from Peru accounts for 5 percent of the 300 tons of cocaine that is used in the United States each year.

(Cocaine prices from around the world.)

Source:  Robert Muggah and Jeremy McDermott, “A Massive Drug Trade, and No Violence,” Atlantic, April 24, 2013.

Between 2008 and 2010, the Environmental Investigation Agency estimates that wood that was illegally cut in Peru accounted for up to 35 percent of the country’s exports of Spanish cedar and big leaf mahogany. Most of the wood that is exported from Peru is used in high-end furniture.

Illegal loggers in Peru can make up to $1,000 for selling a ceder tree on the black market.

Source: Simeon Tegel, “Peru exporting outlawed timber from Amazon to the US,” Global Post, February 2, 2013.

A farmer working in the cocaine trade in Peru can make up to $9,860 a year selling bags of coca leaves. If that same farmer was growing coffee instead, the farmer would make $1,554 a year.

(Additional under the table jobs and illegal profits from crime.)

Source:  Fredric Faux, “Dispatch From The Heart Of Peru’s Cocaine War,” Worldcrunch, December 21, 2012.


In 2011, an estimated 20 tones of dried seahorse was seized by police around the world. The seahorse is ground up into powder and used in Asian countries for its aphrodisiac purposes.

Half of the seahorse seizes in 2011 took place in Peru.

(Price list of endangered animals.)

Source:  “Peru police seize thousands of dried seahorses,” BBC News, August 23, 2012.

According to a United States Secret Service Representative, Peru produces 17 percent of all counterfeit dollars in circulation in the US.

Peru produces the most counterfeit dollars in the world.

In the first 8 months of 2012, police in Peru seized $17 Million in counterfeit dollars.

Source:  Tracey Knott, “‘Peru the World’s Main Producer of Counterfeit Dollars’,” InSight, August 21, 2012.

According to law enforcement officials, counterfeiters in Peru produce the most counterfeit US dollars in the world.

Between 2009 and 2010, over $30 Million in fake dollars were seized by police in the country.

Investigators estimated that only 10 percent of dollar counterfeiters are arrested in the country. Most of the fake currency is smuggled to the United States.

Source:  Ian Garland, “Pressed for cash: Rise of counterfeit money in Peru as police seize $2m in fake U.S. currency and 1.5 million euros,” Daily Mail, July 19, 2012.

According to the intelligence chief of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Peru produces the most cocaine in the world, passing Colombia.

In terms of pure cocaine production, Peru produced 325 metric tons of cocaine in 2010. During the same year, Colombia produced 270 metric tons.

Between 2006 and 2010, the United Nations report that the area devoted to cocaine cultivation in Peru increased 35 percent to 61,200 hectares. Although the area devoted to cocaine cultivation is larger in Colombia, due to eradication efforts by crop dusting plans the amount of cocaine produced is greater in Peru.

Around 55 percent of the cocaine produced in Peru takes place in the Ene and Apurimac Valley where leftist Shining Path rebels control territory.

(More facts about cocaine.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Drug Meeting Spotlight on Peru’s Cocaine Problem,” ABC News, June 24, 2012.

According to the World Bank, illegal logging in Peru generates profits of $72 Million a year for illegal loggers. Up to 80 percent of the country’s total timer exports are illegal logged.

Sellers can earn up to $1,700 for an illegally cut mahogany tree and up to $1,000 for a cedar tree on the black market.

Source:  Elyssa Pachico, “Drug Traffickers Take Note of Peru’s Illegal Timber Trade,” InSight, April 17, 2012.

In the Madre de Dios region of Peru, there are an estimated 18,000 people who are mining for gold in the area. Authorities say that up to 97 percent, or 17,460 miners, are working there without being registered as a miner. In the region, up to 50 percent of all economic activity is due to the illegal gold mining industry.

The Madre de Dios region produces up to one-fifth of the gold produced annually by Peru.

Source:  Hannah Stone, “Peru Cracks Down on Illegal Gold Mining,” InSight, March 16, 2012.

In 2011, around 2,400 people from foreign countries were arrested for crimes in Chile. 70 percent of those arrested and in the criminal justice system were for drug smuggling activities.

48 percent of the drug arrests were of people from Bolivia, 34 percent from Peru, and 8 percent of the foreign nationals were from Argentina.

In 2011, up to 5 percent of the jail population in Chile were of foreign nationals.

Source:  Struan Campbell Gray, “Drug trafficking is the main crime of foreign nationals in Chile,” Santiago Times, February 13, 2012.