'Tony Montana' escaped an assassination attempt at the start of this month. Whilst out in his top of the range Porsche, he and his henchmen were lucky to escape with their lives after a failed hit, apparently ordered by a Mexican Cartel.
For those who have watched the film Scarface, the above may sound a little strange as he died in a hail of bullets in 1983, but for those who haven't then let me explain further.
Gerald Oropeza Lopez is the 'Tony Montana' of Peru. He and his gang are the main players in the illegal trade of cocaine in this country and the man currently responsible with starting the process which brings it to our neighbourhoods.
South America is the number one grower and supplier of cocaine in the world, so stop the source and you will stop the problem? Easier said than done. At the moment Peru is the leading producer closely followed by Bolivia and Colombia. This pecking order changes according to the effectiveness of the country's drug police. In 2004 Colombia accounted for 80% of the total world production, but after #Government crackdowns they forced the drug mafias to simply move their labour force to Peru where life is easier for the moment.
There is a massive corruption problem in Peru being fed by drug money. Of course the Peruvian government and their notoriously weak leader, President Ollanta Humala are trying to sweep this problem under the carpet, instead of facing it head on. It is a known fact that many of the politicians, top judges, army generals, custom officers and police are all on Gerald Oropeza Lopez's payroll. With this level of corruption growing, producing and smuggling cocaine to the main markets of Europe and the USA is merely child's play.
The UK is one of Europe's main users and importer. In a Home Office crime survey from 2013/14 it states that there was an estimated 743,000 cocaine users during that year. In a country with a population of 64.1 million (2013) this is a worrying problem that never seems to be getting any better. The cost of cocaine is at the lowest it has ever been which has made this 'drug of the rich' more readily available and can now be found in new niches like the suburbs and the council estates, throughout the UK. Why has the price fallen? This is due to it being cut with many different substances, bringing down its purity to 20%. Levamisole is one of the cutting agents used in this process but, wait for it, this is normally used by vets to deworm sheep! Also if you have ten used notes in your pocket, at least one has been used to snort cocaine! (study by MSA)
In the film Tony Montana says, ''In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.''
He should have added that after gaining the money you buy the government then you get the power. This is what Gerald Oropeza Lopez is doing at the moment and he was doing it well until his lucky escape from the gunman's bullets. Will his money and power help him now? Maybe. Is there a new Montana ready to fill his boots? Definitely.