James Brokenshire, has used a high level visit to Peru to underline the continued need for close co-operation between countries to combat organised drug gangs.
As part of a wider visit to the Americas, the Minister met with a number of senior members of the government, including Prime Minister Oscar Valdes and Interior Minister Daniel Lozada. Discussions focused on strengthening the UK-Peru relationship in the shared fight against drug trafficking and organised crime, highlighting the scope of current cooperation in that sphere and the possibilities for expanding joint work in the future.
During his meetings, James reaffirmed the commitment of the British Government to work with Peru in the fight against drugs and crime, praising the determination of the Peruvian Government to confront the growing threat the production and trafficking of illegal drugs poses.
Meeting with Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Jose Antonio Meier, they discussed a range of bilateral issues, including strengthening commercial relations. The UK is the second largest investor in Peru including in the mining, financial services, energy, industry and telecommunications sectors.
As well as meeting senior political figures, James met with drugs experts and journalists to discuss the growing threat both Peru and the UK face from drug production and trafficking, the need for sustainable development and strategies for reducing drug use and promoting rehabilitation. Wrapping up his programme, the Minister visited the Port of Callao to see first-hand the work of customs teams there to prevent the shipment of cocaine out of Peru.
Speaking about the visit the Minister said:
"I have been enormously impressed by all that I have heard about the Peruvian government’s determination to advance the fight against drugs. The drugs industry is doing serious damage and causing much suffering in Peru, the UK and around the world. I have used my visit to reconfirm the British government’s commitment to working with the Peruvian authorities to build capabilities and deliver results in dealing with this threat we all face.
"I was very interested to learn more about the developing cooperation in the fight against drugs between the governments and law enforcement authorities in countries around South America. We firmly believe the fight against drugs is one in which the international community needs to work together".