Peru, located in western South America along the Pacific Ocean between Chile and Ecuador and bordering Brazil, Bolivia, and Colombia, is ideally located for coca cultivation, cocaine production, and cocaine distribution. Not surprisingly, Peru is a center for the production and transportation of coca leaves, coca paste, and cocaine. Coca is an indigenous plant to Peru. Coca benefits from the high-alkaloid content in Peru's soil and is grown at altitudes between 2,600 and 3,600 feet in Peru's Andean highlands. Now the second-largest coca leaf-producing nation in the world, Peru was the world's largest coca leaf producer until 1996. It is also the second-largest producer of cocaine, estimated at 210 metric tons of potential pure cocaine in 2007. Although the United Nations (UN) estimates that rates ...

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