• Reuters

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Countries around the world have spent billions of dollars bailing out firms affected by COVID-19. Peru’s coca farmers, who grow the bushy plant used to make cocaine, say they want help, too.

Prices for coca leaves sold to drug gangs have slumped 70 percent since Peru went on lockdown last month, according to Julian Perez Mallqui, the head of a local growers’ organization. He said his members cater to Peru’s tightly regulated legal coca market, but acknowledged some growers sell on the black market. Peruvian officials say more than 90 percent of the country’s coca crop goes to traffickers who are now struggling to move product.

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