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VICE News

Cocaine and Faith in the Amazon (Part 3)

In the final part of our series, VICE News visits a coca plantation near Caballococha, Peru, and learns of the environmental impact the Israelite farmers and the introduction of crops have had on the Amazon rainforest's ecosystem.

by VICE News
Mar 27 2015, 11:25pm

Watch Part 1

Watch Part 2

Peru is now the world's main supplier of coca, the raw plant material used to manufacture cocaine. In the last five years, coca production has grown the most in the tri-border region, an area deep in the Amazon where Colombia, Brazil and Peru meet.

The tri-border region is home to a messianic sect with apocalyptic beliefs whose members dress in biblical robes. Known as "Israelites," the religious group migrated to the Peruvian Amazon in 1995 in search of a promised land that's now infested with coca plantations.

VICE News traveled to Alto Monte de Israel, the sacred land of the Israelites, to meet them and understand how they cope with the existence of coca crops on their land, and whether they're involved in the drug trade.

In the final part of our series, VICE News visits a coca plantation near Caballococha, Peru, and learns of the environmental impact the Israelite farmers and the introduction of crops have had on the Amazon rainforest's ecosystem.

Watch "Peru: The New King of Coke"