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Coca plants eradicators do the job under heavy police watch in Peru
The plant destroyers earn $17 a day, or about $510 a month, which in Peru is a little more than double the minimum wage. It's a lot more than the average $2 a day earned by farmers who often live in miserable conditions.
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Peru_Coca_15

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, a worker pulls up a coca plant in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. The plant destroyers earn $17 a day, or about $510 a month, which in Peru is a little more than double the minimum wage and a lot more than the average $2 a day earned by farmers who often live in miserable conditions. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_1

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, a coca leaf eradicator returns to base camp with his "cococho" tool after a day of uprooting farmers' coca crops in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. The eradicators work eight days in the jungle, then get eight days off. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_2

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, women and children wait near the base camp set up by men hired to eradicate their families' coca crops in hopes of receiving military food leftovers in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. This year saw Peru's first violent "cocalero" protest since 2012, when several hundred growers attacked eradicators and police. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_11

In this Oct. 27, 2015 photo, a man navigates his boat along the Lorencillo River in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. Farmers in this region have lost their livelihoods to the government's campaign to destroy the plant used to make cocaine. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_5

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, counter narcotic police providing security for men hired to destroy coca fields, eat lunch minutes before U.S. helicopters return for the group after their 8-day work week in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. A coca eradicator hasnât been killed on the job since 2012, the year Peru was declared the worldâs top cocaine producer. The programâs director Juan Zarate said 46 people have died tearing up the plants since the effort began in 1983. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_3

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, Anais and her brother George lay back on a hot day during a four-hour trip as their father Mario Maduero pushes their boat across a shallow part of the Lorencillo river, as they travel from Nueva Esperanza to Lorencillo in Peru's Amazon. Peru's dry season makes traveling by river a long and exhausting commute. For many Amazon residents, rivers are the only way to access other communities where they can see a doctor or buy supplies. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_4

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, sellable coca leaves lay with corn cobs on a farmer's property after his coca crop was destroyed by workers from the Control and Reduction of Coca Leaf in Upper Huallaga (CORAH) in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. Peru is the world's top cocaine-producing nation and number 2 behind Colombia in land area under coca cultivation. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_9

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, Anais and her brother Melvin drink water from a puddle in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon where workers arrived to destroy local farmers' coca crops. A record-breaking U.S.-backed eradication campaign has affected roughly a half million Peruvians. Growers say they want eradication halted until the government offers them better alternatives for making a living. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_12

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, U.S. helicopters transport workers from the Control and Reduction of Coca Leaf in Upper Huallaga (CORAH) at the end of their work week in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. The eradicators, typically migrants from dirt-poor highlands communities, work eight days in the jungle, then get eight days off. The U.S. government funds much of the work. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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Peru_Coca_16

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, children play in a river as workers arrive to destroy their families' coca crops in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. Coca farmers, like the coca eradicators, are typically migrants from poor communities. However the women and children who lost their crops nevertheless appeared hopeful, because they know the visitors will probably have leftover fruit and cookies from their military rations, and be happy to share them with the people they have just deprived of income. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_14

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, a worker folds a towel outside his tent pitched on a field previously burned down by local farmers in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. The men hired to destroy farmers' coca crops don't use fire but instead a shovel-handled tool with a cylindrical head to tear out by their roots the plants that are used to make cocaine. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_8

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, Daniel Osoriaga, a municipal worker who promotes alternative crops to coca farmers, rests in a shallow area of the Lorencillo River during a four hour trip by boat and foot from Nueva Esperanza to Lorencillo in Peru's Amazon. According to Peru's government, families got financial support or help with alternative crops last year after their coca fields were destroyed. But many get no assistance rejected what was offered. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_13

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, workers hired to destroy coca fields clean off the day's grime in the Lorencillo River near their base camp in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. The eradicators' work is extremely hard as they labor under a hot sun and walk as much as four hours daily _ two hours to and two hours from the coca growing zones. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_6

In this Oct. 28, 2015 photo, Waldir Rodriguez, who was hired to destroy illegal coca crops, takes an early morning shower at a base camp set up by the Control and Reduction of Coca Leaf in Upper Huallaga (CORAH) in a field that was burned down by local farmers in Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. Although the eradicators destroyed a record number of coca plants in 2013-14, they havenât pulled a single bush out of the main production area: the Apurimac, Ene and Mantaro river valley, which lies to the south, where about 15 drug trafficking groups operate. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_7

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, tools used to uproot coca plants, known locally as a "Cococho," lay on the ground as a U.S. helicopter flies coca eradicators out of Nueva Esperanza, a remote village in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Peru_Coca_10

In this Oct. 29, 2015 photo, students Atmer Augusto, right, and David Cajos, from the Yarina Industrial Technical secondary school, pose for a portrait with a Peruvian flag after rehearsing for a parade that will mark the anniversary of their village, Puerto Libre, in the municipality of Ciudad Constitucion in Peru's Amazon where many farmers grow coca, the plant used to make cocaine. Juan Manuel Torres, a drug policy expert with the nonprofit Center for Research into Drugs and Human Rights, advocates a more integrated approach to coaxing coca farmers to plant different crops : low-interest loans and a phased eradication that would let farmers keep some coca while introducing new crops. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Coca plants eradicators do the job under heavy police watch in Peru

The plant destroyers earn $17 a day, or about $510 a month, which in Peru is a little more than double the minimum wage. It's a lot more than the average $2 a day earned by farmers who often live in miserable conditions.

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