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

PERU / 17 DEC 2012

Peru's Congress is currently considering a legislative package intended to aid the security forces in the fight against organized crime…

MONEY LAUNDERING / 14 MAY 2013

Peruvian authorities have praised the outcome of a police operation carried out in late April, which saw the seizure of…

ELITES AND CRIME / 17 JUL 2014

Some 92 percent of Peru's mayors are under investigation for corruption, a staggering figure that underscores rampant corruption and a…

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…