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Peru | Coca cultivation blamed for rising deforestation in Bahuaja-Sonene NP

The burned forest and coca crops that have dominated the landscape along the road for the past two hours are gradually being transformed into coffee plantations. These are the last plantations left in San Lorenzo de Palmerani, which lies east of the Putina Punco district. Simón* is a coffee farmer who continues to bet on a crop that grows in the middle of an ecological paradise – between the Peruvian Bahuaja-Sonene and Bolivian Madidi national parks – but is haunted by drug trafficking. This corner where Simón lives in the Puno jungle is one of the last bastions of legality left in the Sandia valley.

To get to this district, a rugged terrain must be crossed where thin passes and crevasses are typical along the way to the jungle. The journey that supposed to take eight hours took much longer when there was no road. The reward, however, has always been high-quality coffee plantations that grow at more than 1,500 meters above sea level, where the climate is ideal for this crop.

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