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

BOLIVIA / 1 JAN 2015

Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world in terms of homicides and 2015 is unlikely to see…

BRAZIL / 7 APR 2015

Peru's anti-drug police have released new details on how drug trafficking groups are reportedly able to move up to 80…

ILLEGAL MINING / 20 JAN 2017

Peru's government is targeting the illegal gold trade by declaring illegal mining an organized crime activity while launching a new…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…