After the departure of Fidel Pintado from the head of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs (Devida) due to discrepancies with the Minister of the Interior Luis Barranzuela, he would already have his replacement in the Executive Power. It would be Ricardo Soberón Garrido.
Soberón, a lawyer by profession and a well-known opponent of the coca crop eradication policy since he worked with former congressmen Elsa Malpartida and Nancy Obregón, already held the presidency of Devida in 2011 when he was appointed by former president Ollanta Humala Tasso. His arrival to the post of Devida is due to the fact that he is close to Prime Minister Mirtha Vásquez.
Soberón and Vásquez know each other from the Frente Amplio. Both ran for the Congress of the Republic in different electoral processes. The first did not get to be elected parliamentarian by Lima in 2016, but the second did by Cajamarca last year.
If the appointment of Soberón comes to fruition, there would be a big problem for the Executive. Today, the indigenous organizations of the Central Forest and the VRAEM, CARE and CART launched a public statement in which they rejected that the former head of Devida is being considered for his return to office. This is because they pointed out their known ties to the coca growers.
The probable appointment of Soberón would also be welcomed by the congressman of Peru Libre, Guillermo Bermejo, who, in 2011, wrote a post on the blog of the All Voices Movement, where he highlights the qualities and challenges that Soberón had ahead of him when he took over as head of Devida.
In the five months of Soberón’s tenure in Devida there were, indeed, controversial events that marked him.
On August 12, 2011, an email sent by Soberón to leaders of the National Confederation of Agricultural Producers of the Cocaleras Basins of Peru (Conpaccp) was revealed, to whom it indicated that it could not stop the “violent” eradication of illegal leaf crops. of coca.
Soberón maintained, in that email, that his margin of action and negotiation was reduced as head of Devida. «Should there be eradication? You know my historical position, but I must at least maintain that the reduction should not be violent and should be limited to national units, near pools and in extensions up to 1 h, depending on the area, “wrote Soberón.
The former head of Devida also added that “he will not always be able to stop” the actions to eradicate illegal coca leaf crops, recalling that between 3 and 4 August last he managed to paralyze an operation in the town of Santa Marta, in the area called “Bolsón de Cuchara”.
On the other hand, on September 12, 2011, Latina revealed an audio in which Soberón said, during the Eighth Cocalero Congress held in Aguaytía (Ucayali) between January 22 and 24, 2010, that he fought with the coca growers for the defense of the coca leaf.
«The challenge for the national cocalero movement is very great, and I am going to start with issues related to coca. I swear it is a personal appreciation. I am an academic, a lawyer who has walked behind you when you have to walk. Things, struggles, fights, each one at his level, “he said.
“We have worked on the complaint before the IACHR for violation of human rights in the acts of eradication. I remember, since 2000, the works that were done to show the Ministry of the Interior that the eradication of coca is illegal, it is unconstitutional, it is unfair, it is arbitrary. What has not tried the cocalero movement, by God! “, Sentenced.
Before leaving his post in 2012, former congressman Luis Iberico denounced that Soberón’s administration had 79 people on a ‘golden roster’ with salaries of between 7,000 and 15,000 soles, but many of them without the qualifications for the position, such as a Gana Peru coordinator who earned S / .15 thousand or her parliamentary coordinator, who earned S / .10 thousand.
CARETAS contacted Soberón to ask him about the latest moves in Devida. However, he told us that he “could not testify for the moment.”