Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru

Edmundo Morales, Author University of Arizona Press $24.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1066-5
Peru's booming cocaine economy and the corruption of its society at every level by ``coca dollars'' is the subject of this probing, conscientious though somewhat repetitive field report by Peruvian-born sociologist, writer and photographer Morales, who is employed by New York State's Division of Substance Abuse Services. His Peruvian background greatly facilitated his research among the coca growers and aided his infiltration into the ranks of corrupt officials and police as well as the drug ring that controls the cocaine market. After comprehensive study of all parties involved, the author concludes that the U.S. and international agencies' attempts to eradicate centuries-old coca farming and chewing is futile; substitution of food and cash crops is impractical, he maintains, since coca-producing countries consider the product vital to economic survival and blame consumer countries for its abuse. Outside military intervention could lead to Andes-wide revolution, Morales warns; he suggests exploring the option of buying up and disposing of the coca crop, despite the obvious complexities. Photos not seen by PW. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-8165-1159-4
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