06:06 GMT29 January 2020
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – The government of Peru has exceeded its target plan of 2019 for the eradication of illegal coca plantations, destroying over 25,500 hectares of the crops, Interior Minister Carlos Moran has announced.

    "This is the first phase. Obviously, there was a response from some coca growers who have an interest in preserving this practice because most of these illegal plantations are derived from drug trafficking", Moran said on Tuesday, as quoted by the Peruvian state Andina news agency.

    According to Moran, a total of 25,526 hectares (98.5 square miles, or over 63,000 acres) of illegal coca were destroyed this year.

    The Peruvian interior minister said that the government plans to continue with the measure next year.

    According to the United Nations, Colombia is the world's biggest producer of coca, which is the primary ingredient in cocaine production.

    Peru is the world's second-largest cocaine producer after Colombia, according to US estimates.

    authorities, interior minister, Colombia, crops, drugs, Peru
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