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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1990

Abstract

Two ominous developments in the Peru of the 1980s-the emergence of a Marxist guerrilla movement and a growing export trade in coca leaves bound for the US street drug market-prove to be unexpectedly related. Effectively dealing with one threat-the guerrilla movement-proves difficult for the Peruvian government if it also tries to eradicate the cocaine trade. The governments of two Peruvian presidents, Fernando Belaunde Terry and Alan Garcia, pursue policies with different emphases and must deal both with domestic political pressures and pressure from the United States. The case invites discussion of how the Peruvian heads of state should best deal with these conflicting interests and, by extension, how smaller countries should weigh internal and external imperatives.

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Abstract

Two ominous developments in the Peru of the 1980s-the emergence of a Marxist guerrilla movement and a growing export trade in coca leaves bound for the US street drug market-prove to be unexpectedly related. Effectively dealing with one threat-the guerrilla movement-proves difficult for the Peruvian government if it also tries to eradicate the cocaine trade. The governments of two Peruvian presidents, Fernando Belaunde Terry and Alan Garcia, pursue policies with different emphases and must deal both with domestic political pressures and pressure from the United States. The case invites discussion of how the Peruvian heads of state should best deal with these conflicting interests and, by extension, how smaller countries should weigh internal and external imperatives.

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