In the last two years, the cultivation of coca has deforested more than 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) and invaded the buffer zones of Bahuaja-Sonene National Park and Tambopata National Reserve.Clandestine cocaine laboratories have been found in both areas.The director of Corah, a project in charge of the eradication of illicit crops, indicates that they will continue with interventions. Local authorities, however, demand the presence of the National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs to provide alternative sources of livelihood. SAN GABÁN, Peru — “We have to sit down and talk,” says Julián* as he shakes off his rain-soaked cape and looks for a dry spot among the scattered stones on the roadside. We have just arrived at Lechemayo, a town along the Interoceanic Highway in San Gabán district, in Peru’s southern Puno department. After a heavy downpour, the sky opens up and lights up small hills, exposing around 5 hectares (12 acres) of illegal coca crops growing a few meters from the road. The crops extend beyond those hills. “I’m also impressed,” Julián says, guessing my amazement. He lives near Mazuco, in neighboring Madre de Dios department, and survives on temporary construction jobs. He had not visited Lechemayo in more than a year, and remembers those hills blanketed with pineapple fields, one of the main agricultural products of the Bajo Inambari, a valley along the lower stretch of the Inambari River. However, that scenario began to change dramatically during the past year, when illegal crops not only recovered ground they’d lost, but gained many more hectares. The replanting of coca has created an atmosphere of resistance in San Gabán, especially when a rumor began to spread: that the Corah Special Project, which oversees the strategy to eradicate illicit crops throughout Peru, would enter the area. This rumor was confirmed a few weeks after Mongabay visited the area. Corah built a camp for an eradication campaign of illegal crops, its fourth in 15 years. This operating base houses 600 workers, in addition to police officers. That resistance boiled over in clashes with the police on April 12, during which two farmers, Ángel Quispetupa Chumbilla and Héctor Velásquez Polanco, died.