HomeNewsBriefPeru Announces Military Draft as Govt Fights Traffickers, Rebels
BRIEF

Peru Announces Military Draft as Govt Fights Traffickers, Rebels

PERU / 28 MAR 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

The Peruvian government has reinstated a military draft in order to counter a shortfall of 30,000 personnel, as the country militarizes its fight against drug traffickers and Shining Path guerrillas.

Armed forces commander Admiral Jose Cueto said a lottery system would be used to select men aged between 18 and 25 in May, reported the Associated Press. Parents and university students are exempt, and those selected can avoid service if they pay a $700 fine, sparking fierce criticism that the burden will fall almost entirely on the country's poor.

Cabinet chief Juan Jimenez initially denied that new recruits would be sent as "cannon fodder" to the VRAEM region -- the Apurimac and Ene River Valley, plus the Mantaro Valley -- a stronghold of Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) guerrillas and Peru's biggest cocaine-producing region, reported RPP Noticias. But Vice-Defense Minister Mario Cesar Sanchez de Bernardi said some of them would have to fight in the zone, following six months of training, reported RPP.

InSight Crime Analysis

The draft announcement follows a year in which the Peruvian security forces have come under fire for shortages in equipment and numbers, and their failure to establish control over the VRAEM. A disastrous military operation last April, meant to free 36 gas workers captured by the Shining Path, ended in the death of eight members of the security forces. The ministers of defense and the interior were forced to resign in the ensuing scandal, blamed for sending in troops with poor weapons and communication equipment, and leaving soldiers in rebel territory when a helicopter came under attack.

In October, the government laid out plans to increase military and police budgets by 20 percent and double police numbers.

These measures to boost the security forces are part of the government's strategy to increase the fight against drug trafficking since the country was named the world's number one cocaine producer by the United States. Aside from strengthening the government's ability to fight the Shining Path, the troops could also come in useful as authorities implement a plan to increase coca eradication by 50 percent to a record 22,000 hectares this year. Eradication operations are sometimes met with violent resistance.

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

BRAZIL / 4 MAY 2021

Brazil, Colombia and Peru have deployed their armies to fight deforestation and other crimes in the Amazon rainforest.

COCA / 11 JUL 2022

Following multiple killings, Indigenous leaders in the Peruvian Amazon are again facing threats of violence after coca eradication operations in…

BRAZIL / 20 FEB 2021

Drug traffickers engage in a creative game of hide and seek with coast guards and other security forces that board…

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…