HomeNewsBriefNew Org Crime Law in Peru Places Powerful Tools in Suspect Hands
BRIEF

New Org Crime Law in Peru Places Powerful Tools in Suspect Hands

JUDICIAL REFORM / 2 JUL 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Peru has implemented a new law to fight organized crime, providing law enforcement with better investigation tools amidst an increase in criminal activity, but raising concerns over corruption and abuses of power.

The new law -- which went into effect on July 1 -- allows law enforcement officials to intercept phone calls, use undercover agents, and follow suspects involved in organized crime, reported El Comercio.

In addition, the law eliminates sentence reduction benefits for members of criminal groups and increases sentences for group leaders who use minors or high caliber weapons in their operations. The law also includes measures to set up a system to store data on inmates tied to organized crime, including detailed information on the visitors they receive in prison.

The law applies to 21 different crimes carried out by groups of 3 or more including drug trafficking, money laundering, corrupting public officials, human trafficking and smuggling, and extortion.

InSight Crime Analysis

The implementation of the law comes at a time of growing problems with organized crime in Peru.

The country is the world's leading cocaine producer, and in April, authorities identified what they believe to be the first independent Peruvian group running transnational drug trafficking operations directly to the United States. Peru has also seen a recent surge in extortion, particularly in the transportation sector, and human smuggling and illegal mining appear to be on the rise.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles    

Although the law gives security forces new tools to combat organized crime, the country will continue to struggle to contain the spread of organized crime while corruption reamains widespread. 

Corruption is rampant in the security forces, with police officers facilitating extortion and signs that officials may be involved in providing weapons to criminal groups. A recent US State Department report also highlighted corruption in the judicial system, which has been echoed by Peru's anti-narcotics prosecutor, and even three of Peru's recent presidents have been accused of criminal activity.

Under these conditions, the law could also generate concerns about the amount of power being placed in such hands and the balance between security and civil liberties. Allowing broader use of tools such as phone intercepts can be a powerful weapon against organized crime but can also be abused for personal or political purposes, as has happened in places such as Colombia.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 25 MAY 2017

The government of Peru hopes to halve the amount of coca grown in the country by 2021, an ambitious plan…

ELITES AND CRIME / 27 AUG 2015

Although the walls are closing in on Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina, due to new revelations of his involvement…

ILLEGAL MINING / 5 SEP 2014

A Peruvian research institute stated that the country's illegal mining industry pulled in $3.4 billion worth of profits over the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…