Hooked on clean living
18.11.27: FORMER DRUGS baron Aquiles Meralis Peralta has banned the use of synthetic cocaine and heroin in his multi-million-hectare retreat in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
Peralta, a one-time leader of the Colombian Cali cartel, which trafficked cocaine and heroin worldwide, believes that 'the greatest drug known to man is the reconstruction of our planet'.
Since designer drugs replaced heroin and cocaine nearly 15 years ago, followed by the efforts of many western governments to legalise their use and to control their production, many former drugs smugglers have turned away from the narcotics trade. Few, however, have embraced clean living in such style.
Peralta, 67, runs a nature reserve from headquarters at Leticia, the town at the confluence of the borders of Peru, Colombia and Brazil, and believes it his duty to return Amazonia to its original habitat.
For the past 10 years Peralta, using the billions of dollars he made from the drugs trade at the end of the last century, has worked to replant the forest and reintroduce Amazonian wildlife to the vast area stretching from the Andes in Peru, ri