HomeNewsBriefSenior Police Linked to Family Drug Clans in Peru’s VRAEM
BRIEF

Senior Police Linked to Family Drug Clans in Peru's VRAEM

COCAINE / 18 DEC 2019 BY MARIA ALEJANDRA NAVARRETE EN

Authorities in Peru are investigating possible links between family clans dedicated to drug trafficking and police officials that are willing to accept bribes to support and protect drug shipments. 

At least 50 members of Peru’s national police force have been linked to a criminal organization called "Mecanismo," and were allegedly bribed by a drug gang, known as "Sinchi," in order to facilitate drug shipments to Bolivia, reported La República quoting the Attorney General's Office.

An operation on December 2 saw 16 police officers arrested for their alleged involvement in the drug ring across the cities of Cusco, Puno and Moquegua. 

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profile

Authorities say “Sinchi” is a drug trafficking organization led by Julio César Sánchez Tello, also known as alias "Sinchi," which operates in the southern part of the country around Ayacucho, Cusco and Madre de Dios, the Peruvian national press agency, Andina, reported. According to La República, the group has managed to send 14 cocaine shipments, each containing 300 kilograms, since March 18, 2018. The shipments were allegedly sent to Bolivia before eventually going on to Europe.  

Among those under investigation are two colonels, Cusco’s current regional chief of police and his predecessor, who reportedly received bribes and actively participated in this criminal network.

The officers involved are being investigated for receiving money in exchange for coordinating the processing, financing, stockpiling, packaging, transport, purchasing, sales and shipments of drugs from the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley, known as the VRAEM, to clandestine landing strips in the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios.

InSight Crime Analysis

The continuing power of family clans in the VRAEM, the country’s primary cocaine production zone, to run their drug operations unimpeded is a major blow to the Peruvian state which has been trying to tame this area for years.

In 2019 alone, besides seeing an attempted resurgence of the infamous Shining Path guerrilla movement in the VRAEM, Peru has made a number of high-profile arrests in the area.

But this does not appear to have had much effect on the family clans which dominate drug trafficking there. Peru's anti-drug prosecutor, Sonia Medina, told InSight Crime in July that at least 50 family clans have been identified in the VRAEM, specializing in drug production and transport for Peruvian and international buyers.

SEE ALSO: Chemicals for Cocaine Production Hidden in Sugar and Beer in Peru

The high rank of the officers involved in this operation is noteworthy. So far, in addition to the colonels, at least four regional and provincial police chiefs from Cusco are allegedly linked to the Mecanismo network, La República reported.

According to witness testimonies collected by prosecutors and published anonymously by the newspaper, the officers received between 2,000 and 4,000 soles (between around $590 and $1,200) per week for not patrolling the region nor advising the intelligence agency in Lima about the scope of the clans’ activities. 

According to a 2017 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), two routes head towards Bolivia from the VRAEM's Pilcopata province, connecting the region to the cities of Desaguadero and Cobija, while another route connects the VRAEM to Rio Branco, Brazil.

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

COCAINE / 15 JUL 2021

Nicaraguan Fisherman Ted Hayman Forbes and his drug trafficking network operated from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Colombian island…

COCAINE / 19 NOV 2015

A huge cocaine processing complex run by the ELN has been found in west Colombia, showcasing the guerrilla group's role…

PERU / 6 JUN 2011

With a narrow margin of victory, leftist candidate Ollanta Humala beat Keiko Fujimori, daughter of former President Alberto Fujimori, to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.