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Cocaine Capital of the World: Stacey Dooley Investigates

Cocaine Capital of the World: Stacey Dooley Investigates

Mon Aug 12, 9-10pm, BBC3

By Yolanda Zappaterra
Paddington bear and his suitcase will suddenly seem a lot less innocent after watching this. Peru, it transpires, is now the world’s number one cocaine-producing country. Who knew?

Certainly not Danny, banged up in a Lima jail for six years after attempting to smuggle 1.3 kilos of it out of the country, for just $5,000. ‘I always thought Columbia was the world’s biggest cocaine producer,’ he tells Stacey, in his England cap (‘Gotta represent your country,’ he grins when she comments on it). ‘So did I,’ exclaims Stacey, before heading off to see the vast fields of coca, watching the disturbingly easy process of turning the crop into cocaine, discovering the Amazonian mountain home for a new strain of crop, meeting its wealthy communities and farmers, and joining a government brigade trying to eradicate it.

She’s a hoot, a cross between Kate Adie and one of Enid Blyon’s pesky kids, and her keen desire to understand the effects of the drug production on people both inside the country and beyond its borders is infectious. She might have blown in from Luton, but this young investigative reporter is a savvy woman asking some interesting questions in a complex world. Though we can’t help thinking Kate would have stood her ground a bit more against a swarm of bees.

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