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VICE News

The Promised Land: Cocaine and Faith in the Amazon (Trailer)

Coming soon: VICE News meets the apocalyptic sect that lives in the center of the fastest growing coca-producing region in South America.

by VICE News
Mar 24 2015, 8:15pm

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.

Watch "Peru: The New King of Coke"

Read "Meet the Man Helping Peru's Foreign Drug Mules Get Home"