HomeNewsBriefMore than 86% of Peruvians Feel Unsafe: Govt Survey
BRIEF

More than 86% of Peruvians Feel Unsafe: Govt Survey

PERU / 22 FEB 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

A new government survey highlights how there are far more Peruvians afraid of falling victim to crime than actual crime victims, even as the country continues to struggle with thousands of urban street gangs.

A recently released survey by government statistics institute the INEI found that 38 percent of those surveyed said they had been a crime victim, with robbery the most common offense. Another 87 percent said they were afraid of falling victim to crime in the near future.

The INEI study covered 28 urban areas of Peru, including Lima and the surrounding metropolitan area, as well as the country's most important port city, Callao.

The survey also found that gun crime has increased slightly in Peru between 2011 to 2012, rising from 5.8 to 6.6 per cent.

The results correspond with Vanderbilt University’s 2012 public opinion survey(LAPOP), which found that Peru suffers from some of the the highest perceptions of insecurity in Latin America. According to the university's findings, Lima ranks second in the region in terms of how many people report feeling insecure, outranked only by Mexico City. Additionally, an increasing number of people in Peru are saying that insecurity is the country's biggest problem: just 11 percent said so in 2006, compared to 31 percent in 2012.

The INEI survey comes just as Peru is considering passing a new set of legal measures meant to support the goverment's fight against organized crime. The measures would lay out more effective procedures for police to carry out undercover work, among other reforms. The country's top judicial authority recently called on Congress to approve the measures, which were presented to Congress by the Executive Branch last December.

InSight Crime Analysis

Gang violence and the prevalence of petty crime in Peru's major cities are likely the main reasons why perceptions of insecurity remain so high in the Andean nation. In 2011, the government estimated there are some 13,000 gang members inside Peru, while Peru's National Council on Citizen Security (CONASEC) has said there are up to 24,000. Most petty gangs are concentrated in Lima.

The INEI survey is indicative of how much petty crime can contribute to mass fear of insecurity, even though Peru has not witnessed the same levels of drug-related violence and gang conflict seen in other countries in the region. A video recently picked by The Guardian (watch below) showing a group of youths robbing cars stuck in a Lima traffic jam, is just one example of the type of petty crime that arguably affects urban Peruvians far more than violence related to organized crime.

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.

Tags

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 / 17 MAY 2022

A government proposal for Peru to purchase all the country’s coca production has generated fierce debate, but experts question whether…

BOLIVIA / 20 APR 2021

An old associate of Pablo Escobar, who spent 27 years in prison in the United States, is behind bars once…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

Illegal gold mining drives the destruction of Peru's Amazon, where fortune seekers strip forests and leave behind poisonous pools of…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…