LIMA, Peru — When police here unearthed nearly 8 tons of cocaine — a national record — hidden inside lumps of coal late last month, it was little surprise that two Mexican citizens were also arrested.
The brutal Mexican cartels that control the drug routes from remote Andean villages where raw coca plants grow to the world’s largest consumer market, the United States, are known to have been present in Peru since the 1990s.
Nevertheless, the haul found in a small seafront warehouse in Huanchaco, a fishing village known for its surfing on Peru’s northern coast, stood out for another reason: It was bound not for the US but, in two separate shipments, for Spain and Belgium.
“What is surprising is that this implies a change in the criminal map,” said Peru’s former anti-drug czar Ricardo Soberon. “For Mexicans to be running drugs from Peru to Europe, without it ever…
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